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CIVIL PROCEDURE: RULES 1-3 CASE DIGEST

I. INTRODUCTION

1. CITY OF MANILA vs JUDGE GRECIA-CUERDO, et al.

City of Manila V. Grecia – Cuerdo

FACTS:

City of Manila through its treasurer Liberty Toledo assessed taxes from Jan. to Dec. 2002 against
private respondent SM Mart Inc. et al.

On Jan. 24, 2004, respondents filed with the RTC the complaint “Refund or Recovery of Illegally
and/or Erroneously Collected Local Business tax, Prohibition with prayer to issue TRO and writ of
preliminary injunction” before Grecia’ssala. Private respondents even amended the complaint
alleging that, in relation to Sec. 14-21 of Revised Revenue Code of Manila were violative of double
taxation.

RTC granted the injunction of the respondents, then the petitioners filed Motion for
Reconsideration but the RTC denied it.

Petitioners then filed a Special Civil Action for certiorari under Rule 65 of Rules of Court

CA dismissed the petition holding that it has no jurisdiction over the petition, saying that the
jurisdiction is vested on the Court of Tax Appeals.

ISSUE:

Whether or not Court of Tax Appeals has jurisdiction over the Special Civil Action for certiorari
assailing an interlocutory order issued by the RTC in a local tax case.

RULING:

The Supreme Court agrees with the ruling of the CA. Since the appellate jurisdiction for tax refund is
vested in the CTA. Petition for Certiorari seeking nullification of an interlocutory order issued in the
case should be likewise be filed in CTA. To rule otherwise would lead to an absurd situation where 2
courts decides on the same case.

In order for any appellate court to effectively exercise its appellate jurisdiction, it must have the
authority to issue, among others, a writ of certiorari. In transferring exclusive jurisdiction over
appealed tax cases to the CTA, it can reasonably be assumed that the law intended to transfer also
such power as is deemed necessary, if not indispensable, in aid of such appellate jurisdiction. There
is no perceivable reason why the transfer should only be considered as partial, not total.

Consistent with the above pronouncement, the Court has held as early as the case of J.M. Tuason&
Co., Inc. v. Jaramillo, et al. [118 Phil. 1022 (1963)] that “if a case may be appealed to a particular
court or judicial tribunal or body, then said court or judicial tribunal or body has jurisdiction to issue
the extraordinary writ of certiorari, in aid of its appellate jurisdiction.” This principle was affirmed in
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De Jesus v. Court of Appeals (G.R. No. 101630, August 24, 1992) where the Court stated that “a
court may issue a writ of certiorari in aid of its appellate jurisdiction if said court has jurisdiction to
review, by appeal or writ of error, the final orders or decisions of the lower court.

2. MEDICAL PLAZA MAKATI CONDOMINIUM CORP. vs CULLEN

G.R. No. 181416 November 11, 2013


MEDICAL PLAZA MAKATI CONDOMINIUM CORPORATION vs. ROBERT H. CULLEN

Facts:
>Respondent Robert H. Cullen purchased from MLHI condominium Unit No. 1201 of the Medical
Plaza Makati.
>On September 19, 2002, petitioner, through its corporate secretary, Dr. Jose Giovanni E. Dimayuga,
demanded from respondent payment for alleged unpaid association dues and assessments
amounting to ₱145,567.42.

Defense of Respondent:claiming that he had been religiously paying his dues shown by the fact that
he was previously elected president and director of petitioner.

Petitioners Argument:claimed that respondent’s obligation was a carry-over of that of MLHI.

Consequence: respondent was prevented from exercising his right to vote and be voted for during
the 2002 election of petitioner’s Board of Directors.

>Respondent thus clarified from MLHI the veracity of petitioner’s claim, but MLHI allegedly claimed
that the same had already been settled.This prompted respondent to demand from petitioner an
explanation why he was considered a delinquent payer despite the settlement of the obligation.
Petitioner failed to make such explanation. Hence, the Complaint for Damages8 filed by respondent
against petitioner and MLHI.

RTC
>Petitioner and MLHI filed their separate motions to dismiss the complaint on the ground of lack of
jurisdiction.

>MLHI contention:MLHI claims that it is the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) which
is vested with the exclusive jurisdiction to hear and decide the case.

>Petitioners Contention: Petitioner, on the other hand, raises the following specific grounds for the
dismissal of the complaint: (1) estoppel as respondent himself approved the assessment when he
was the president; (2) lack of jurisdiction as the case involves an intra-corporate controversy; (3)
prematurity for failure of respondent to exhaust all intra-corporate remedies; and (4) the case is
already moot and academic, the obligation having been settled between petitioner and MLHI.

RTC DECISION:RTC rendered a Decision granting petitioner’s and MLHI’s motions to dismiss and,
consequently, dismissing respondent’s complaint. The trial court agreed with MLHIthat the action
for specific performance filed by respondent clearly falls within the exclusive jurisdiction of the
CIVIL PROCEDURE: RULES 1-3 CASE DIGEST

HLURB.As to petitioner, the court held that the complaint states no cause of action, considering that
respondent’s obligation had already been settled by MLHI. It, likewise, ruled that the issues raised
are intra-corporate between the corporation and member.

CA DECISION: the CA reversed and set aside the trial court’s decision and remanded the case to the
RTC for further proceedings. Contrary to the RTC conclusion, the CA held that the controversy is an
ordinary civil action for damages which falls within the jurisdiction of regular courts. It explained
that the case hinged on petitioner’s refusal to confirm MLHI’s claim that the subject obligation had
already been settled as early as 1998 causing damage to respondent.

Issue:does the controversy involve intra-corporate issues as would fall within the jurisdiction of the
RTC sitting as a special commercial court or an ordinary action for damages within the jurisdiction of
regular courts?

Held:An intra-corporate controversy is one which pertains to any of the following relationships: (1)
between the corporation, partnership or association and the public; (2) between the corporation,
partnership or association and the State insofar as its franchise, permit or license to operate is
concerned; (3) between the corporation, partnership or association and its stockholders, partners,
members or officers; and (4) among the stockholders, partners or associates themselves.

Relationship Test:the existence of any of the above intra-corporate relations makes the case intra-
corporate.
Nature of the controversy test:"the controversy must not only be rooted in the existence of an
intra-corporate relationship, but must as well pertain to the enforcement of the parties’ correlative
rights and obligations under the Corporation Code and the internal and intra-corporate regulatory
rules of the corporation." In other words, jurisdiction should be determined by considering both the
relationship of the parties as well as the nature of the question involved.

>Admittedly, petitioner is a condominium corporation duly organized and existing under Philippine
laws, charged with the management of the Medical Plaza Makati. Respondent, on the other hand, is
the registered owner of Unit No. 1201 and is thus a stockholder/member of the condominium
corporation. Clearly, there is an intra-corporate relationship between the corporation and a
stockholder/member.

Applicability of RA 9904:Republic Act (RA) No. 9904, or the Magna Carta for Homeowners and
Homeowners’ Associations, approved on January 7, 2010 and became effective on July 10, 2010,
empowers the HLURB to hear and decide inter-association and/or intra-association controversies or
conflicts concerning homeowners’ associations. However, we cannot apply the same in the present
case as it involves a controversy between a condominium unit owner and a condominium
corporation. While the term association as defined in the law covers homeowners’ associations of
other residential real property which is broad enough to cover a condominium corporation, it does
not seem to be the legislative intent. A thorough review of the deliberations of the bicameral
conference committee would show that the lawmakers did not intend to extend the coverage of the
law to such kind of association.
CIVIL PROCEDURE: RULES 1-3 CASE DIGEST

Dispositive Portion:Thus, the intra-corporate dispute between petitioner and respondent is still
within the jurisdiction of the RTC sitting as a special commercial court and not the HLURB. The
Complaint before the Regional Trial Court of Makati City, Branch 58, which is not a special
commercial court, docketed as Civil Case No. 03-1018 is ordered DISMISSED for lack of jurisdiction.
Let the case be REMANDED to the Executive Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Makati City for re-
raffle purposes among the designated special commercial courts.

3. SANDOVAL vs CANEBA

SANDOVAL vs CANEBA GANCAYCO, J.:

It is not the ordinary courts but the Nat’l Housing Authority (NHA) which has exclusive jurisdiction to
hear and decide cases of (a) unsound real estate business practices; (b) claims involving refund and any
other claims filed by subdivision lot or condominium unit buyer against the project owner, developer,
dealer, broker of salesman; and (c) cases involving specific performance of contractual and statutory
obligations filed by buyers of subdivision lot. Estate Developers and Investors Corporation (Estate) filed a
complaint against Nestor Sandoval in the RTC for the collection of unpaid installments of a subdivision
lot, pursuant to their agreement. The RTC ruled in favor of Estate, and ordered Sandoval to pay. A writ
of execution was issued which thereafter became final and executor. Facts: Sandoval filed a motion to
vacate judgment and to dismiss the complaint on the ground that the RTC had no jurisdiction over the
subject matter. An MR of the writ of execution was also filed by PET. Estate opposed both motions. RTC
denied the motion to vacate for the reason that it is now beyond the jurisdiction of the court to do so. A
new writ of execution was issued. Sandoval filed a pet alleging that the RTC committed GADALEJ since
the exclusive and original jurisdiction over the subject matter thereof is vested w the HLURB (PD 957).

Issue: Whether the ordinary courts have jurisdiction over the collection of unpaid installments regarding
a subdivision lot

Held: NO. Under Sec 1 of OD 957, the NHA was given the EXCLUSIVE JURISDICTION to hear and decide
certain cases of the following nature: (a) Unsound real estate business practices; (b) Claims involving
refund and any other claims filed by subdivision lot or condo unit buyer against the project owner,
developer, dealer, broker or salesman; and (c) Cases involving specific performance of contractual and
statutory obligations filed by buyers of subdivision lot or condo unit against the owner, developer,
dealer, broker or salesman. The exclusive jurisdiction over the case between the PET and RES is vested
not on the RTC but on the NHA. The NHA was re-named Human Settlements Regulatory Commission and
thereafter re-named as the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB)

4. MAGPALE vs CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION

Magpale, Jr vs. Civil Service Commission


· Petitioner Magpale, Jr. worked for the Philippine Port Authority (PPA) as Port Manager. He was first
assigned in PPA-Tacloban, but was subsequently assigned to PPA-Manila.
CIVIL PROCEDURE: RULES 1-3 CASE DIGEST

· In a report made by the PPA-Tacloban Inventory Committee and COA, they


found that Magpale, Jr. failed to account for equipment valued at P65,542 and
to liquidate cash advances amounting to P130,069.
· Charges were filed against him and the Sec. of DOTC found Magpale, Jr. guilty
of gross negligence, frequent and unauthorized absences, and was thereafter
dismissed from service.
· Magpale, Jr. appealed to the Merit Systems and Protection Board (MSPB) of
respondent Civil Service Commission (CSC). MSPB reversed the DOTC decision
and ordered for his immediate reinstatement.
· Respondent Dayan (General Manager of PPA) then appealed with the Civil
Service Field Office-PPA, which was indorsed to the CSC. CSC then granted said
appeal.
· Magpale, Jr now assails the CSC decision.

Issue: Was the appeal made to the CSC proper?


Held:
· No. The extent of the authority of CSC to review decision of the MSPB is now a
settled manner. Under Sec 47, EO 292, CSC shall decide on appeal all
administrative cases involving the imposition of:
o A penalty of suspension for more than 30 days
o Fine in an amount exceeding 30 days salary
o Demotion in rank or salary or transfer
o Removal or dismissal from office
· The MSPB decision did not involve dismissal or separation from office, but
rather exonerated Magpale, Jr and ordered him reinstated to his former
position.
· Therefore, the MSPB decision was not a proper subject of appeal to the
CSC.
· Settled is the rule that a tribunal, board or officer exercising judicial functions
acts without jurisdiction if no authority has been conferred by law to hear and
decide the case

5. DE MURGA vs CHAN

6. EDITHA PADLAN vs DINGLASAN

Padlan vs Dinglasan
Petitioners: Editha Padlan
Respondents: Elenita Dinglasan; Felicisimo Dinglasan.
Ponente: PERALTA, J:
Doctrine: Where the ultimate objective of the plaintiffs is to obtain title to real property, it should
be filed in the proper court having jurisdiction over the assessed value of the property subject
thereof.
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FACTS: Respondent Elenita Dinglasan was the registered owner of a parcel of land which is covered
by TCT. While on board a jeepney, Elenita’s mother, Lilia, had a conversation with one Maura
Passion regarding the sale of the said property. Believing that Maura was a real estate agent, Lilia
borrowed the owner’s copy of the TCT from Elenita and gave it to Maura. Maura then subdivided
the property into several lots under the name of Elenita and her husband Felicisimo Dinglasan.
Through a falsified deed of sale bearing the forged signature of Elenita and her husband Felicisimo,
Maura was able to sell the lots to different buyers.
On April 26, 1990, Maura sold one of the lots to Lorna Ong (Lorna), who later sold the lot to
petitioner Editha Padlan for P4,000.00. Thus, TCT issued under the former’s name was cancelled and
another TCT was issued in the name of Editha Padlan.
Respondents filed a case of Cancellation of Transfer Certificate of Title before the RTC. Summons
was, thereafter, served to petitioner through her mother, Anita Padlan.
The RTC rendered a Decision finding petitioner to be a buyer in good faith and, consequently,
dismissed the complaint. Upon appeal, the Court of Appeals rendered a decision in favor of the
respondent. Consequently, the CA reversed and set aside the Decision of the RTC and ordered the
cancellation of the TCT issued in the name of Lorna and the petitioner, and the revival of
respondents’own title. Aggrieved, petitioner filed a Motion for Reconsideration. Petitioner argued
that not only did the complaint lacks merit, the lower court failed to acquire jurisdiction over the
subject matter of the case and the person of the petitioner. The same was denied; hence, this
petition.
ISSUE: Whether or not the RTC acquired jurisdiction over the subject matter of the case
HELD: No. In no uncertain terms, the Court has already held that a complaint must allege the
assessed value of the real property subject of the complaint or the interest thereon to determine
which court has jurisdiction over the action. Here, the only basis of valuation of the subject property
is the value alleged in the complaint that the lot was sold by Lorna to petitioner in the amount of
P4,000.00. No tax declaration was even presented that would show the valuation of the subject
property. In fact, in one of the hearings, respondents’ counsel informed the court that they will
present the tax declaration of the property in the next hearing since they have not yet obtained a
copy from the Provincial Assessor’s Office. However, they did not present such copy.
To reiterate, where the ultimate objective of the plaintiffs is to obtain title to real property, it should
be filed in the proper court having jurisdiction over the assessed value of the property subject
thereof .
Since the amount alleged in the Complaint by respondents for the disputed lot is only P4,000.00, the
MTC and not the RTC has jurisdiction over the action.
Therefore, all proceedings in the RTC are null and void.

7. QUESADA vs DOJ

EDGARDO V. QUESADA, Petitioner,


vs.
THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE and CLEMENTE TERUEL, Respondents
G.R. No. 150325 August 31, 2006
FACTS:
- Clemente M. Teruel, herein respondent, filed with the Office of the City Prosecutor, Mandaluyong
City, an affidavit-complaint charging Edgardo V. Quesada (herein petitioner), Ramon P. Camacho, Jr.,
and Rodolfo Corgado with the CRIME OF ESTAFA under Article 315, paragraphs 2 and 3 of the
Revised Penal Code.
CIVIL PROCEDURE: RULES 1-3 CASE DIGEST

TERUEL’S CONTENTION
- The affidavit-complaint alleges that on June 13, 1998 at Shangrila Plaza Hotel, EDSA, Mandaluyong
City, Quesada, Camacho, and Corgado represented themselves to Teruel as the president, vice-
president/treasurer, and managing director, respectively, of VSH Group Corporation;
- That they offered to him a telecommunication device called Star Consultant Equipment Package
which provides the user easy access to the internet via television; that they assured him that after
he pays the purchase price ofP65,000.00, they will immediately deliver to him two units of the
internet access device; that relying on their representations, he paid them P65,000.00 for the two
units; and that despite demands, they, did not deliver to him the units.
CONTENTION OF PETITONER
- It was only petitioner Quesada who filed a counter-affidavit. He alleged that they formed the VSH
Group as a corporation "for the principal purpose of pooling the commissions they will receive as
Star Consultant Trainers and then dividing said commissions among themselves according to their
agreement";
- That while he admitted that the two units of internet access devices purchased by herein
respondent Teruel were not delivered to him, however, this was not due to their alleged fraudulent
representations since they merely acted as sales agents of F.O.M. Phils., Inc.;
- That they found out too late that the said company could not cope with its commitment to them as
it ran short of supplies of telecommunication products.
Office of the Prosecutor
- Found probable cause hence a comliant for estafa was filed against the petitioner
- While the RTC was hearing Criminal Case No. MC-00-2510, petitioner filed with this Court the
instant Petition for Certiorari alleging that the Secretary of Justice, in dismissing his Petition for
Review in I.S. No. 00-29780-C, acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of
jurisdiction.

ISSUE:
Whether or not an instant petition of certiorari can be filed directly to the Supreme Court

HELD:
NO, it is in utter violation of the rule on hierarchy of courts.
The Supreme Court is a court of last resort, and must so remain if it is to satisfactorily perform the
functions assigned to it by the fundamental charter and immemorial tradition. It cannot and should
not be burdened with the task of dealing with causes in the first instance. Its original jurisdiction to
issue the so-called extraordinary writs should be exercised only where absolutely necessary or
where serious and important reasons exist therefor. Hence, that jurisdiction should generally be
exercised relative to actions or proceedings before the Court of Appeals, or before constitutional or
other tribunals, bodies or agencies whose acts for some reason or another are not controllable by
the Court of Appeals. Where the issuance of an extraordinary writ is also within the competence of
the Court of Appeals or a Regional Trial Court, it is in either of these courts that the specific action
for the writ’s procurement must be presented. This is and should continue to be the policy in this
regard, a policy that courts and lawyers must strictly observe.
CIVIL PROCEDURE: RULES 1-3 CASE DIGEST

8. LUMBUAN vs RONQUILO

Lumbuan vs. Ronquillo


Petitioners: Milagros Lumbuan
Respondents: Alfredo A. Ronquillo
Ponente: Quisumbing

Doctrine:
SECTION 412. Conciliation. – (a) Pre-condition to Filing of Complaint in Court. – No complaint,
petition, action, or proceeding involving any matter within the authority of the lupon shall be filed
or instituted directly in court or any other government office for adjudication, unless there has been
a confrontation between the parties before the lupon chairman or the pangkat, and that no
conciliation or settlement has been reached as certified by the lupon secretary or pangkat secretary
as attested to by the lupon or pangkat chairman….
It is noteworthy that under the aforequoted provision, the confrontation before the Lupon
Chairman or the pangkat is sufficient compliance with the precondition for filing the case in court.

Facts:
The petitioner was the registered owner of a property located in Tondo Manila. In 1995, the
property was leased to the respondent for a period of three years for the amount of P5000. Also in
agreement was an annual increase of 10% for the succeeding two years, and that the property will
be for the exclusive use of the fastfood business of the respondent, unless any other use is given
with the petiotioner’s prior written consent.
The property was initially used for the fastfood business of the respondent and later on converted
into a residence without the required written consent of the petitioner. The respondent also failed
to pay the 10% increase in rent of P500 a month starting 1996, and P1000 for the year 1997 to the
present. Despite repeated demands, the respondent refused to pay the arrears and vacate the
premises.
On November 15, 1997, the petitioner referred the matter to the Barangay Chairman’s office but
the parties failed to arrive at a settlement. The Barangay Chairman then issued a Certificate to File
Action.
On December 8, 1997, a case for unlawful detainer was filed by the petitioner against the
respondent. The respondent received the summons and a copy of the complaint on December 15,
1997 and his answer by mail was filed on December 24, 1997.
Before the MeTC could receive the respondent’s answer, the petitioner filed a Motion for Summary
Judgment dated January 7, 1998. Acting upon this motion, a decision was rendered ordering the
respondent to vacate and surrender possession of the leased premises and to pay the petitioner the
amount of P46, 000 as unpaid rentals with legal interest until fully paid and an additional P5000 for
attorney’s fees plus cost of the suit.
A manifestation was filed by the respondent calling the attention of the MeTC to the fact that his
answer was filed on time and praying that the decision be set aside. The MeTC denied the prayer,
ruling that the Manifestation was in the nature of a motion for reconsideration which is a prohibited
pleading under the Rules of Summary Procedure.
Upon appeal, the case was raffled to the RTC of Manila. The RTC rendered its decision setting aside
the MeTC decision and directed the parties to go back to the Lupon Chairman or Punong Barangay
for further proceedings. Strict compliance was directed with the condition that should the parties
fail to reach an amicable settlement, the entire records of the case will be remanded to the MeTC
for it to decide the case anew.
CIVIL PROCEDURE: RULES 1-3 CASE DIGEST

The respondent sought reconsideration but the RTC denied the motion. Relief was thereafter sought
from the CA through a petition for review. The appellate court reversed the decision of the RTC and
ordered the dismissal of the ejectment case. The petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration but
the same was denied by the appellate court.
Pending this petition, the parties went through barangay conciliation proceedings as directed by the
RTC of Manila. Again, they failed to arrive at an amicable settlement prompting the RTC to issue an
order remanding the case to the MeTC.
A second decision was ordered by the MeTC ordering the defendant and all persons claiming right of
possession under him to voluntarily vacate the property and surrender possession thereof to the
plaintiff; to pay to plaintiff the amount of P387,512.00 as actual damages in the form of unpaid
rentals and its agreed increase up to January 2000 and to pay the amount of P6,500.00 a month
thereafter until the same is actually vacated; and to pay to plaintiff the sum of P10,000.00 as and for
attorney’s fees plus cost of the suit.
The respondent appealed the decision and the case was raffled to the RTC of Manila. The RTC ruled
in favor of the petitioner and dismissed the appeal. The case was then elevated by the respondent
to the CA.

Issue:
Whether or not the Court of Appeals gravely erred in dismissing the complaint for the alleged failure
of the parties to comply with the mandatory mediation and conciliation proceedings in the barangay
level.

Held/Ratio:
Yes. With the parties’ subsequent meeting with the Lupon Chairman or Punong Barangay for further
conciliation proceedings, the procedural defect was cured.
The petitioner alleges that the parties have gone through barangay conciliation proceedings to
settle their dispute as shown by the Certificate to File Action issued by the Lupon/Pangkat Secretary
and attested by the Lupon/Pangkat Chairman. The respondent, on the other hand, contends that
whether there was defective compliance or no compliance at all with the required conciliation, the
case should have been dismissed.
SECTION 412. Conciliation. – (a) Pre-condition to Filing of Complaint in Court. – No complaint,
petition, action, or proceeding involving any matter within the authority of the lupon shall be filed
or instituted directly in court or any other government office for adjudication, unless there has been
a confrontation between the parties before the lupon chairman or the pangkat, and that no
conciliation or settlement has been reached as certified by the lupon secretary or pangkat secretary
as attested to by the lupon or pangkat chairman….
Here, the Lupon/Pangkat Chairman and Lupon/Pangkat Secretary signed the Certificate to File
Action stating that no settlement was reached by the parties. While admittedly no pangkat was
constituted, it was not denied that the parties met at the office of the Barangay Chairman for
possible settlement. The efforts of the Barangay Chairman, however, proved futile as no agreement
was reached. Although no pangkat was formed, in our mind, there was substantial compliance with
the law. It is noteworthy that under the aforequoted provision, the confrontation before the Lupon
Chairman or the pangkat is sufficient compliance with the precondition for filing the case in court.
CIVIL PROCEDURE: RULES 1-3 CASE DIGEST

9. PEOPLE vs CAWALING

People v Cawaling
Plaintiff: People of the Philippines
Accused: Ulysses M. Cawaling, Ernesto Tumbagahan, Ricardo De los Santos, and Hilario Cajilo
Ponente: Panganiban

Doctrine:
The jurisdiction of a court to try a criminal case is determined by the law in force at the time of the
institution of the action. Once the court acquires jurisdiction, it may not be ousted from the case by
any subsequent events.

Facts: An administrative case was filed by Nelson Ilisan before the National Police Commission in
which Policemen Tumbagahan, De Los Santos, and Cajilo were charged with the killing of Ronie
Ilisan. A decision was made which found the police officers guilty of grave misconduct and ordered
their dismissal from the service with prejudice.
Subsequently, the Assistant Provincial Fiscal filed before the Regional Trial Court of Odiongan,
Romblon an information for murder against the police officers and Mayor Cawaling. After due trial,
the court rendered its decision finding the accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of
murder. The killing was qualified to murder because of the aggravating circumstances of abuse of
superior strength and treachery. The trial court ruled that there was a notorious inequality of forces
between the victim and his assailant, as the latter were greater in number and armed with guns.

Issue:
WON the Sandiganbayan had jurisdiction to try and hear the case against the the accused, as they
were public officers at the time of the killing which was allegedly committed by reason of or in
relation to their office.

Held:
The jurisdiction of a court to try a criminal case is determined by the law in force at the time of the
institution of the action. Once the court acquires jurisdiction, it may not be ousted from the case by
any subsequent events, such as a new legislation placing such proceedings under the jurisdiction of
another tribunal. The only recognised exceptions to the rule, which find no application in the case at
bar, arise when: (1) there is an express provision in the statute, or (2) the statute is clearly intended
to apply to actions pending before its enactment.
The statutes pertinent to the issue are PD1606, PD 1850 and BP 129, as amended. Section 4 of PD
1606 provides that the Sandiganbayan shall exercise exclusive original jurisdiction in all cases
involving offenses or felonies committed by public officers and employees in relation to their office,
including those employed in government-owned or controlled corporations whether simple or
complexed with other crimes, where the penalty prescribed by law is higher than prison
correccional or imprisonment for six years or a fine of P6,000. However, Pres. Marcos issued
presidential decrees placing the members of the Integrated National Police under the jurisdiction of
courts-martial.
The jurisdiction of regular courts over civil and criminal cases was laid down in BP 129. Section 20 of
which provides that trial courts shall exercise exclusive original jurisdiction in all criminal cases not
within the exclusive jurisdiction of any court, tribunal or body, except those now falling under the
exclusive and concurrent jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan which shall thereafter be exclusively
taken cognisance of by the latter.
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In Sanchez vs. Demetriou the court held that public office is not the essence of murder. The taking of
human life is either murder or homicide whether done by a private citizen or public servant, and the
penalty is the same except when the perpetrator, being a public functionary, took advantage of his
office in which event the penalty is increased.
The use or abuse of office does not adhere to the crime as an element, and even as an aggravating
circumstance, its materiality arises, not from the allegations but on the proof, not from the fact that
the criminals are public officials but from the manner of the commission of the crime. Furthermore,
the information filed against the accused contains no allegation that they were public officers who
committed the crime in relation to the office. In the absence of such essential allegation, and since
the present case does not involve charges of violation of the Anti-Graft Act, the Sandiganbayan does
not have jurisdiction over the present case.
Jurisdiction is determined by the allegations in the complaint of information. In the absence of any
allegation that the offense was committed in relation to the office of the accused or was necessarily
connected with the discharge of their functions, the Regional Trial Court, not the Sandiganbayan,
has jurisdiction to hear and decide the case.

10. ZAMORA vs HEIRS OF CARMEN

ZAMORA et al. v. HEIRS OF CARMEN IZQUIERDO


Petitioner: Wife and children of PABLO ZAMORA
Respondent: Heirs of CARMEN IZQUIERDO
Ponente: J. Angelina Sandoval-Gutierrez

Doctrine: As a precondition to filing a complaint in court, parties shall go through the barangay
conciliation process either before the Lupon Chairman (as what happened in the present case), or
the Pangkat.

Facts:
In 1973, Carmen Izquierdo and Pablo Zamora entered into a verbal stipulation where the former
leased to the latter one of her apartment units located in Caloocan City. They agreed that the rental
is P3,000.00 per month; the leased premises is only for residence; and only a single family is allowed
to occupy it. After Carmen’s death in 1996, her attorney-in-fact, Anita Punzalan, representing the
heirs, herein respondents, prepared a new contract of lease where the rent was increased to
P3,600.00 per month. Petitioners, however, refused to sign it. Pablo died in 1997 and his wife and
children continued to reside in the apartment unit. They refused to pay the increased rental and
persisted in operating a photocopying business in the same apartment.
Meanwhile, Avelina Zamora applied with the Metropolitan Waterworks & Sewerage System (MWSS)
for a water line installation in the premises. Since written consent from the owner is required for
installation, she requested respondents’ attorney-in-fact to issue it. However, the latter declined
because petitioners refused to pay the new rental rate and violated the restrictions on the use of
the premises by using a portion thereof for photocopying business and allowing three families to
reside therein.
Petitioner then filed with the Office of the Punong Barangay of Barangay 16, Zone 2, District 1,
Caloocan City a complaint against respondents docketed as: ―Usaping Bgy. Blg. 1-27-97, Ukol sa:
Hindi Pagbibigay ng Pahintulot sa Pagpapakabit ng Tubig.‖
CIVIL PROCEDURE: RULES 1-3 CASE DIGEST

During conciliation proceedings, petitioners still refused to sign the new lease contract and soon
after, was sent a demand letter by respondents to vacate the premises within 30 days. Failing to
amicably settle the dispute, the Barangay Chairman issued a Certification to File Action.
Consequently, respondents filed with the MTC Branch 49 Caloocan for unlawful detainer and
damages.
Petitioner alleges that the barangay Certification to File Action ―is fatally defective‖ because it
pertains to another dispute — the refusal by respondents to give her written consent to petitioners’
request for installation of water facilities in the premises. And, second, when the parties failed to
reach an amicable settlement before the Lupong Tagapamayapa, the Punong Barangay (as Lupon
Chairman), did not constitute the Pangkat ng Tagapagkasundo before whom mediation or
arbitration proceedings should have been conducted.
MTC rendered judgment in favor of Respondents ordering Petitioners to vacate premises and pay
damages.

RTC Branch 125, on appeal, affirmed MTC judgment and subsequently denied Petitioners’ Motion
for Reconsideration.

CA, on petition for review, affirmed RTC decision and thereafter denied Petitioners’ Motion for
Reconsideration.

Issue:
W/N the Lupon conciliation alone, without the proceeding before the Pangkat ng Tagapagkasundo,
contravenes the law on the Katarungang Barangay as a precondition to filing a complaint in court.

Held: NO
The Punong Barangay, as Chairman of the Lupong Tagapamayapa, conducted conciliation
proceedings to resolve the dispute between the parties herein. Contrary to petitioners’ contention,
the complaint does not only allege, as a cause of action, the refusal of respondents’ attorney-in-fact
to give her consent to the installation of water facilities in the premises, but also petitioners’
violation of the terms of the lease, specifically their use of a portion therein for their photocopying
business and their failure to pay the increased rental.
As a precondition to filing a complaint in court, the parties shall go through the conciliation process
either before the Lupon Chairman (as what happened in the present case), or the Pangkat. It is thus
manifest that there was substantial compliance with the law which does not require strict
adherence thereto.
We hold that petitioners’ motion to dismiss the complaint for unlawful detainer is proscribed by
Section 19(a) of the 1991 Revised Rule on Summary Procedure which permits filing of such pleading
only when the ground for dismissal of the complaint is anchored on lack of jurisdiction over the
subject matter, or failure by the complainant to refer the subject matter of his/her complaint ―to
the Lupon for conciliation‖ prior to its filing with the court.
Petition DENIED. CA Decision sustaining RTC Decision upholding MTC judgment AFFIRMED.
CIVIL PROCEDURE: RULES 1-3 CASE DIGEST

II. GENERAL PROVISIONS [RULE 1, SECTIONS 1-6]

1. TAMAO vs ORTIZ

Tamano Vs Ortiz
Petitioner: Estrellita J. Tamano
Respondent: Hon. Rodolfo A Ortiz Presiding Judge, RTC-Br. 89, Quezon City, Haja Putri Zorayda A.
Tamano, Adib A. Tamano and the HON. COURT OF APPEALS
Ponente: BELLIOSILLO

Doctrine:
Under The Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1980, Regional Trial Courts have jurisdiction over all
actions involving the contract of marriage and marital relations. Personal actions, such as the instant
complaint for declaration of nullity of marriage, may be commenced and tried where the plaintiff or
any of the principal plaintiffs resides, or where the defendant or any of the principal defendants
resides, at the election of the plaintiff.

Facts:
On 31 May 1958 Senator Mamintal Abdul Jabar Tamano (Tamano) married private respondent Haja
Putri Zorayda A. Tamano (Zorayda), On 2 June 1993, Tamano also married petitioner Estrellita J.
Tamano (Estrellita) in civil rites in Malabang, Lanao del Sur. On 23 November 1994 private
respondent Zorayda joined by her son Adib A. Tamano (Adib) filed a Complaint for Declaration of
Nullity of Marriage of Tamano and Estrellita on the ground that it was bigamous. They contended
that Tamano and Estrellita misrepresented themselves as divorced and single, respectively, thus
making the entries in the marriage contract false and fraudulent. They further alleged that Tamano
never divorced Zorayda and that Estrellita was not single when she married Tamano as the decision
annulling her previous marriage with Romeo C. Llave never became final and executory for non-
compliance with publication requirements. Estrellita filed a motion to dismiss alleging that the
Regional Trial Court of Quezon City was without jurisdiction over the subject and nature of the
action. She alleged that "only a party to the marriage" could file an action for annulment of marriage
against the other spouse, hence, it was only Tamano who could file an action for annulment of their
marriage. Petitioner likewise contended that since Tamano and Zorayda were both Muslims and
married in Muslim rites the jurisdiction to hear and try the instant case was vested in the sharia
courts pursuant to Art. 155 of the Code of Muslim Personal Laws.
TRIAL COURT: Denied the motion to dismiss. The case was properly cognizable by the Regional Trial
Court of Quezon City since Estrellita and Tamano were married in accordance with the Civil Code
and not exclusively in accordance with PD No. 1083. A motion for reconsideration was filed but was
also denied.
COURT OF APPEALS: Withheld the trial court’s decision assailing that the instant case would fall
under the exclusive jurisdiction of sharia courts only when filed in places where there are sharia
courts. But in places where there are no sharia courts, like Quezon City, the instant case could
properly be filed before the Regional Trial Court.

Issue:
whether or not the Sharia courts and not the Regional Trial Courts have jurisdiction
CIVIL PROCEDURE: RULES 1-3 CASE DIGEST

Held:
No. A court’s jurisdiction does not depend upon the defenses set up in the answer, in a motion to
dismiss, or in a motion for reconsideration, but only upon the allegations of the complaint. As
alleged in the complaint, petitioner and Tamano were married in accordance with the Civil Code.
Hence, contrary to the position of petitioner, the Civil Code is applicable in the instant case.
Assuming that indeed petitioner and Tamano were likewise married under Muslim laws, the same
would still fall under the general original jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Courts. Article 13 of PD No.
1083 does not provide for a situation where the parties were married both in civil and Muslim rites.
Consequently, the sharia courts are not vested with original and exclusive jurisdiction when it comes
to marriages celebrated under both civil and Muslim laws. Consequently, the Regional Trial Courts
are not divested of their general original jurisdiction under Sec. 19, par. (6) of BP Blg. 129 which
provides -
Sec. 19. Jurisdiction in Civil Cases. - Regional Trial Courts shall exercise exclusive original jurisdiction:
x x x (6) In all cases not within the exclusive jurisdiction of any court, tribunal, person or body
exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions x x x x

2. DOMAGAS vs JENSEN

Domagas vs Jensen
Republic vs Jensen
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, (Represented by the Acting Commissioner of Land Registration),
petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS, Spouses CATALINO SANTOS and THELMA BARRERO SANTOS,
ST. JUDES ENTERPRISES, INC., Spouses DOMINGO CALAGUIAN and FELICIDAD CALAGUIAN,
VIRGINIA DE LA FUENTE and LUCY MADAYA, respondents.
PETITIONER : REP.OF PHILS
RESPONDENTS : CATALINO SANTOS and THELMA BARRERO SANTOS, ST. JUDES ENTERPRISES, INC.,
Spouses DOMINGO CALAGUIAN and FELICIDAD CALAGUIAN, VIRGINIA DE LA FUENTE and LUCY
MADAYA,
PANGANIBAN, J.:

Doctrine : An action to recover a parcel of land is a Real action but is an action in personam , for it
binds a particular individual only although it concerns the right to a tangible thing .

Facts : -This case is seeking to set aside the November 29, 1993 Decision[1]of the Court of
Appeals[2]in CA- The assailed Decision affirmed the ruling[3] of the Regional Trial Court of Caloocan
City---which dismissed petitioners Complaint for the cancellation of Transfer Certificates of Title
(TCTs) to several lots in Caloocan City, issued in the name of private respondents.
- Defendant St. Judes Enterprises, Inc. is the registered owner of a parcel of land which was
subdivided Lot No. 865-B-1 under subdivision plan as a result thereof the Register of Deeds of
Caloocan City cancelled TCT and issued Certificates of Title, all in the name of defendants St. Judes
Enterprises, Inc
- Defendant St. Judes Enterprises, Inc. sold the lots covered by TCT Nos. 24013 and 24014 to
defendant Sps. Catalino Santos and Thelma Barreto Santos[;] TCT No. 24019 to defendant Sps.
Domingo Calaguian and Felicidad de Jesus[;] TCT No. 24022 to defendant Virginia dela Fuente[;] and
TCT No. 2402[3] to defendant Lucy Madaya
CIVIL PROCEDURE: RULES 1-3 CASE DIGEST

- Solicitor General Estelito Mendoza filed] an action seeking the annulment and cancellation of
Transfer Certificates of Title (TCT), ground that said Certificates of Title were issued on the strength
of [a] null and void subdivision plan (LRC) PSD-55643 which expanded the original area of TCT No.
22660 in the name of St. Jude's Enterprises
- Defendants Virginia dela Fuente and Lucy Mandaya were declared in default for failure to file their
respective answer within the reglementary period. Defendants Sps. Catalino Santos and Thelma
Barreto Santos, St. Jude's Enterprises, Inc. and Sps. Domingo Calaguian and Felicidad Calaguian filed
separate answers to the complaint.
defendant St. Jude's Enterprises, Inc. Interposed defenses, among others, that the cause of action of
plaintiff is barred by prior judgment; that the subdivision plan submitted having been approved by
the LRC, the government is now in estoppel to question the approved subdivision plan; and the
plaintiff's allegation that the area of the subdivision increased by 1,421 square meters is without any
basis in fact and in law

TRIAL COURT :
the trial court dismissed the Complaint.[7] While the plaintiff sufficiently proved the enlargement or
expansion of the area of the disputed property, it presented no proof that Respondent St. Jude
Enterprises, Inc. (St. Jude) had committed fraud when it submitted the subdivision plan to the Land
Registration Commission (LRC) for approval.
Thus, the court concluded, the government was already in estoppel to question the approved
subdivision plan. Finding that Spouses Santos, Spouses Calaguian, Dela Fuente and Madaya had
brought their respective lots from St. Jude for value and in good faith, the court held that their titles
could no longer be questioned, because under the Torrens system, such titles had become absolute
and irrevocable

APPELLATE COURT :
upholding the indefeasibility of titles issued under the Torrens system, the appellate court affirmed
the trial court. It criticized petitioner for bringing the suit only after nineteen (19) years had passed
since the issuance of St. Judes title and the approval of the subdivision plan.
ISSUE: Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred when it failed to consider that petitioners
complaint before the lower court was filed to preserve the integrity of the Torrens System.

SUPREME COURT :
- We agree with the statement that the State is immune from estoppel, but this concept is
understood to refer to acts and mistakes of its officials especially those which are irregular BUT THIS
IS ABSENT IN CASE AT BAR .
- In the case at bar, for nearly twenty years petitioner failed to correct and recover the alleged
increase in the land area of St. Jude it is negligence or omission to assert a right within a reasonable
time, warranting a presumption that the party entitled to assert it either has abandoned it or
declined to assert it.
-Likewise time-settled is the doctrine that where innocent third persons, relying on the correctness
of the certificate of title, acquire rights over the property, courts cannot disregard such rights and
order the cancellation of the certificate. The Government, recognizing the worthy purposes of the
Torrens System,
should be the first to accept the validity of titles issued thereunder once the conditions laid down by
the law are satisfied
CIVIL PROCEDURE: RULES 1-3 CASE DIGEST

3. YU vs PACLEB

Yu vs Pacleb
Petitioners : Yu Ernesto
Respondents : Baltazar Pacleb & registered owners (Cavite)
Ponente : CORONA, J.:

Doctrine : An action for specific performance praying for the execution of deed of sale in connection
with an undertaking in a contract, such as the contract to sell, in this instance, action in personam is
binding only upon parties properly impleaded therein and duly heard or given opportunity to be
heard.

Facts :
Respondent Baltazar Pacleb together with his wife were the owners of a parcel of land in
Dasmarinas Cavite covered by a transfer of certificate of title.
1992, there was a deed of sale between Pacleb and Del Rosario, and another deed of sale was made
between Del Rosario and Javier. A contract to sell was also made between Javier and petitioner.
However, these sales were NOT REGISTERED.
The contract stipulated that ―Yu, to pay 900,000 pesos. 600,000 pesos upon execution of contract
and 300,000 pesos balance. Javier deliver the possession to Yu.
Petitioner filed with the RTC of Imus a specific performance and damages against Javier to compel to
deliver ownership and possession, and title as well as cancellation of their agreement and return of
initial payment. on the ground that they made it appear that the property was not tenanted but it
was actually tenanted by Pacleb . They agreed to pay disturbances compensation in which Javier
failed. Javier was declared in default on the ground that he did not appear in proceedings.

TRIAL COURT : ruled in favor of plaintiff and issued a certificate of finality. Petitioner and Ramon
Pacleb executed a contract ―Kusangloob na Pagsasauli ng Lupang Sakahan at Pagpapahayag ng
Pagtalikod sa Karapatan” . Petitioner paid Ramon in exchange for waiver of tenancy rights.
Respondent on the other hand, filed a complaint of annulment of deed of sale of the deed of sale
between Del Rosario and Javier claiming that the deed of sale between the two of them wa spurious
and signatures were forged. He also moved for the summons to be served upon Del Rosario via
publication since her address cannot be found, but was denied. So, respondent moved to dismiss
the case which was granted by the trial court. 1995, the petitioner filed an action for forcible entry
against respondent. They contend that they had prior possession thru Ramon until latter was ousted
by respondent. MTC ruled in favor of the petitioner and the RTC affirmed its decision. However, the
Court of Appeals set aside the decisions of the lower courts. The CA decded that the respondent had
prior possession as shown by payment of real estate taxes.
Respondent filed an instant case for removal of cloud from title with damages alleging that the deed
of sale between him and his late first wife could not have been executed on the date appearing
thereon. He claimed that he was residing in the US at that time and that his late first wife died 20
years ago.
Trial court rendered its decision in favor of the petitioners and held the petitioners purchasers in
good faith. The trial court also held that the petitioners' action for specific performance against
Javier was already final, and the trial court also ordered the respondents' heirs and all other persons
claiming under them to surrender the possession of the property to the petitioners. Upon appeal by
the respondent, the CA reversed the trial court's decision. Hence, this petition.
CIVIL PROCEDURE: RULES 1-3 CASE DIGEST

Issue :
Whether or not an action for specific performance is an action quasi in rem and is binding upon
respondent even if the latter was not a party

Held :
NO. The action for specific performance and damages filed by petitioners against Javier to compel
him to perform his obligations under their Contract to Sell is an action in personam.
The purpose of the action is to compel Javier to accept the full payment of the purchase price, and
to execute a deed of absolute sale over the property in favor of the petitioners. The obligations of
Javier mentioned attach to Javier alone and do not burden the property. Thus, the complaint filed by
the petitioners is an action in personam and is binding only upon the parties properly impleaded
therein and duly heard or given an opportunity to be heard. So, the action cannot bind the
respondent since he was not a party therein and considering the fact that his signature and that of
his late first wife were forged in the deed of sale. Hence, the petition is denied and the Court affirms
the ruling of the CA finding the respondent having a better right over the property as the true owner
thereof.

4. CABUTIHAN vs LANDCENTER

REBECCA T. CABUTIHAN vs. LANDCENTER CONSTRUCTION & DEVT CORP.


Petioner: REBECCA T. CABUTIHAN
Respondent: LANDCENTER CONSTRUCTION & DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION
Ponente: PANGANIBAN, J.:

Doctrines: A misjoinder nor a non-joinder of parties is a ground for dismissal of an action, because
parties may be dropped or added at any stage of the proceedings.
Breach of contract gives rise to a cause of action for specific performance or for rescission. A suit for
such breach is not capable of pecuniary estimation; hence, the assessed value of the real estate,
subject of the said action, should not be considered in computing the filing fees.

FACTS: Landcenter Construction & Development Corporation, represented by Wilfredo B.Maghuyop


-- entered into an Agreement with Petitioner Rebecca Cabutihan. Agreement states that petitioner
will facilitate and arrange the recovery of a parcel of land for the respondent Landcenter
Construction situated at Kay-biga, Paranaque, MM as well as the financing of such undertaking
necessaryin connection thereto, including the necessary steps in relation to squatters presently
occupying it and legitimate buyers of lot thereof. Luz Ponce, authorized by the corporation, entered
into a Deed of Undertaking with Cabutihan’s group. The Deed states that the group shall receive a
36.5% compensation of the total area recovered.
Petitioner filed an Action for specific performance before the RTC of Pasig City (note Property is in
Paranque) after she accomplished the undertaking and after the corporations failure to compensate
the petitioner and the other facilitators.
Petitioner prayed, inter alia, that respondent corporation be ordered to execute the appropriate
document assigning, conveying, transferring and delivering the particular lots in her favor. The lots
represented compensation for the undertakings she performed and accomplished, as embodied in
the Agreement.
CIVIL PROCEDURE: RULES 1-3 CASE DIGEST

RTC ruled that the allegations in the Complaint show that its primary objective was to recover real
property. Equally important, the prayer was to compel respondent to execute the necessary deeds
of transfer and conveyance of a portion of the property corresponding to 36.5 percent of its total
area or, in the alternative, to hold respondent liable for the value of the said portion, based on the
prevailing market price. The RTC further ruled that, since the suit would affect the title to the
property, it should have been instituted in the trial court where the property was situated.[12]
Furthermore, the action was filed only by petitioner. There was no allegation that she had been
authorized by Forro, Radan and Anave to represent their respective shares in the compensation.
Finally, since this case was an action in rem, it was imperative for petitioner to pay the appropriate
docket or filing fees equivalent to the pecuniary value of her claim, a duty she failed to discharge.
Consequently, following Manchester Development Corp. v. Court of Appeals,[13] the trial court
never acquired jurisdiction over the case.

Issues: 1.WON Pasig RTC was an improper venue.


2. WON dismissal by RTC due non-joinder of necessary parties was proper.
3. WON dismissal by RTC due to non-payment of docket fees was proper.

Ruling: 1. We agree with petitioner. Sections 1 and 2, Rule 4 of the Rules of Court provide an answer
to the issue of venue.[17] Actions affecting title to or possession of real property or an interest
therein (real actions), shall be commenced and tried in the proper court that has territorial
jurisdiction over the area where the real property is situated. On the other hand, all other actions,
(personal actions) shall be commenced and tried in the proper courts where the plaintiff or any of
the principal plaintiffs resides or where the defendant or any of the principal defendants resides. In
the present case, petitioner seeks payment of her services in accordance with the undertaking the
parties signed. Breach of contract gives rise to a cause of action for specific performance or for
rescission. If petitioner had filed an action in rem for the conveyance of real property, the dismissal
of the case would have been proper on the ground of lack of cause of action.
2. Neither a misjoinder nor a non-joinder of parties is a ground for the dismissal of an action. Parties
may be dropped or added by order of the court, on motion of any party or on the courts own
initiative at any stage of the action.[24] The RTC should have ordered the joinder of such party, and
noncompliance with the said order would have been ground for dismissal of the action.
Although the Complaint prayed for the conveyance of the whole 36.5 percent claim without
impleading the companions of petitioner as party-litigants, the RTC could have separately
proceeded with the case as far as her 20 percent share in the claim was concerned, independent of
the other 16.5 percent. This fact means that her companions are not indispensable parties without
whom no final determination can be had.[25] At best, they are mere necessary parties who ought to
be impleaded for a complete determination or settlement of the claim subject of the action.[26] The
non-inclusion of a necessary party does not prevent the court from proceeding with the action, and
the judgment rendered therein shall be without prejudice to the rights of such party.[27]
3. We hold that the trial court and respondent used technicalities to avoid the resolution of the case
and to trifle with the law. True, Section 5, Rule 141 of the Rules of Court requires that the assessed
value of the real estate, subject of an action, should be considered in computing the filing fees. But
the Court has already clarified that the Rule does not apply to an action for specific
performance,[28] which is classified as an action not capable of pecuniary estimation.
CIVIL PROCEDURE: RULES 1-3 CASE DIGEST

5. CITIZEN SURETY vs MELENCIO-HERRERA

Citizens’ Surety & Insurance Company vs Judge Melencio_Herrera


Petitioner: Citizens’ Surety & Insurance Company
Respondent: Judge Melencio-Herrera; Santiago Dacanay; Josefina Dacanay.
Ponente: REYES, J.B.L., J.

Doctrine: It is a well-settled principle of Constitutional Law that, in an action strictly in personam,


like the one at bar, personal service of summons, within the forum, is essential to the acquisition of
jurisdiction over the person of the defendant, who does not voluntary submit himself to the
authority of the court. In other words, summons by publication cannot — consistently with the due
process clause in the Bill of Rights — confer upon the court jurisdiction over said defendants.

Facts: Citizens Surety and Insurance Co (Citizens) alleged that at the request of Santiago Dacanay, it
issued 2 surety bonds to guarantee payment of P5K promissory notes in favor Gregorio Fajardo and
Manufacturers Bank & Trust Co respectively. As security, the Santiago and Josefina Dacanay
executed an Indemnity Agreement to jointly indemnify Citizens for losses, costs and expenses (with
12% annual interest) and a REM over a parcel of land in Baguio. The promissory notes were not paid
and as a result, plaintiff Surety was compelled to pay. The Dacanays failed to reimburse the Surety
for such payments, whereupon the Surety caused the extrajudicial foreclosure of the mortgage to
pay its claim — leaving an unsatisfied balance of P10,491.69, that plaintiff sought to recover from
defendants Dacanay by filing a case.
At petitioner’s request, the respondent Judge caused summons to be made by publication in the
Philippines Herald. But despite such publication and deposit of copy with the Manila post office, the
defendant did not appear within 60 days from the last publication.
Plaintiff sought the defendants to be declared in default, but the Judge eventually dismissed the
case, the suit being in personam and the defendants not having appeared.

Issue: W/N summons made by publication is sufficient for the court to acquire jurisdiction

Held: No. In an action strictly in personam, personal service of summons, within the forum, is
essential to the acquisition of jurisdiction over the person of the defendant, who does not
voluntarily submit himself to the authority of the court. In other words, summons by publication
cannot – consistently with the due process clause in the Bill of Rights – confer upon the court
jurisdiction over said defendants.
Here, the proper recourse for the creditor is to locate properties, real or personal, of the resident
defendant debtor with unknown address and cause them to be attached, in which case, the
attachment converts the action into a proceeding in rem or quasi in rem and the summons by
publication may be valid.
However, given the skill of debtors to conceal their properties, the decision of the respondent Judge
was set aside and held pending in the archives until petitioner tracks down the whereabouts of the
defendant’s person or properties.
CIVIL PROCEDURE: RULES 1-3 CASE DIGEST

6. GO vs UCPB

GO vs. UCPB (G.R. NO. 156187)


FACTS:
- Petitioner Jimmy T. Go and Alberto T. Looyuko are co-owners of Noahs Ark International, Noahs
Ark Sugar Carriers, Noahs Ark Sugar Truckers, Noahs Ark Sugar Repacker, Noahs Ark Sugar Insurers,
Noahs Ark Sugar Terminal, Noahs Ark Sugar Building, and Noahs Ark Sugar Refinery.[4]
- Sometime in August 1996, petitioners applied for an Omnibus Line accommodation with
respondent United Coconut Planters Bank (UCPB) in the amount of Nine Hundred Million
(P900,000,000) Pesos,[5] and was favorably acted upon by the latter.
- The transaction was secured by Real Estate Mortgages over parcels of land located at
Mandaluyong City with an area of 24,837 square meters, and registered in the name of Mr.
Looyuko; and TCT No. 3325, also located at Mandaluyong City with an area of 14,271 square meters,
registered in the name of Noahs Ark Sugar Refinery.
- On 21 July 1997, the approved Omnibus Line accommodation granted to petitioner was
subsequently cancelled[6] by respondent UCPB.
- As a consequence, petitioner Jimmy T. Go demanded from UCPB the return of the two (2) TCTs
(No. 64070 and No. 3325) covered by Real Estate Mortgages earlier executed.
- UCPB refused to return the same and proceeded to have the two (2) pre-signed Real Estate
Mortgages notarized on 22 July 1997 and caused the registration thereof before the Registry of
Deeds of Mandaluyong City on 02 September 1997.
- On 15 June 1999, respondent UCPB filed with the Office of the Clerk of Court and Ex-Officio Sheriff
of Mandaluyong City an extrajudicial foreclosure of real estate mortgage[7] covered by TCT No.
64070, for nonpayment of the obligation secured by said mortgage. As a result, the public auction
sale of the mortgaged property was set on 11 April 2000 and 03 May 2000.
- To protect his interest, petitioner Jimmy T. Go filed a complaint for Cancellation of Real Estate
Mortgage and damages, with prayer for temporary restraining order and/or writ of preliminary
injunction, against respondent bank and its officers, namely, Angelo V. Manahan, Francisco C.
Zarate, Perlita A. Urbano and Atty. Edward E. Martin, together with Ex-Officio Sheriff Lydia G. San
Juan and Sheriff IV Helder A. Dyangco, with the Regional Trial Court of Pasig City, Branch 266,
docketed as Civil Case No. 67878.
- The complaint was subsequently amended[8] on 22 May 2000. The amended complaint alleged,
among other things, the following: that petitioner Jimmy T. Go is a co-owner of the property
covered by TCT No. 64070, although the title is registered only in the name of Looyuko; that
respondent bank was aware that he is a co-owner as he was asked to sign two deeds of real estate
mortgage covering the subject property; that the approved omnibus credit line applied for by him
and Looyuko did not materialize and was cancelled by respondent bank on 21 July 1997, so that the
pre-signed real estate mortgages were likewise cancelled; that he demanded from respondent bank
that TCTs No. 64070 and No. 3325 be returned to him, but respondent bank refused to do so; that
despite the cancellation of the omnibus credit line on 21 July 1997, respondent bank had the two
deeds of real estate mortgage dated and notarized on 22 July 1997 and caused the extrajudicial
foreclosure of mortgage constituted on TCT No. 64070; that the auction sale scheduled on 11 April
2000 and 03 May 2000 be enjoined; that the two real estate mortgages be cancelled and TCTs No.
64070 and No. 3325 be returned to him; and that respondent bank and its officers be ordered to pay
him moral and exemplary damages and attorneys fees.
- On 07 June 2000, respondent bank, filed a motion to dismiss[9] based on the following grounds:
(1) that the court has no jurisdiction over the case due to nonpayment of the proper filing and
docket fees;
CIVIL PROCEDURE: RULES 1-3 CASE DIGEST

(2) that the complaint was filed in the wrong venue;


(3) an indispensable party/real party in interest was not impleaded and, therefore, the complaint
states no cause of action;
(4) that the complaint was improperly verified; and
(5) that petitioner is guilty of forum shopping and submitted an insufficient and false certification of
non-forum shopping.
- On 07 June 2000, the trial court issued an order[10] granting petitioners application for a writ of
preliminary injunction

ISSUE:
Whether petitioners complaint for cancellation of real estate mortgage is a personal or real action
for the purpose of determining venue.

HELD:
Real action
- The case of Carandang v. Court of Appeals,[31] is more particularly instructive. There, we held that
an action for nullification of the mortgage documents and foreclosure of the mortgaged property is
a real action that affects the title to the property. Thus, venue of the real action is before the court
having jurisdiction over the territory in which the property lies, which is the Court of First Instance of
Laguna.
- Petitioner in this case contends that a case for cancellation of mortgage is a personal action and
since he resides at Pasig City, venue was properly laid therein. He tries to make a point by alluding to
the case of Francisco S. Hernandez v. Rural Bank of Lucena.[32]
- Petitioners reliance in the case of Francisco S. Hernandez v. Rural Bank of Lucena[33] is misplaced.
Firstly, said case was primarily an action to compel the mortgagee bank to accept payment of the
mortgage debt and to release the mortgage. That action, which is not expressly included in the
enumeration found in Section 2(a) of Rule 4 of the Old Civil Procedure and now under Section 1,
Rule 4 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, does not involve titles to the mortgaged lots. It is a
personal action and not a real action. The mortgagee has not foreclosed the mortgage. The plaintiffs
title is not in question. They are in possession of the mortgaged lots. Hence, the venue of the
plaintiffs personal action is the place where the defendant or any of the defendants resides or may
be found, or where the plaintiff or any of the plaintiffs resides, at the election of the plaintiff. In the
case at bar, the action for cancellation of real estate mortgage filed by herein petitioner was
primarily an action to compel private respondent bank to return to him the properties covered by
TCTs No. 64070 and No. 3325 over which the bank had already initiated foreclosure proceedings
because of the cancellation by the said respondent bank of the omnibus credit line on 21 July 1997.
The prime objective is to recover said real properties. Secondly, Carandang distinctly articulated
that the ruling in Hernandez does not apply where the mortgaged property had already been
foreclosed. Here, and as correctly pointed out by the appellate court, respondent bank had already
initiated extrajudicial foreclosure proceedings, and were it not for the timely issuance of a
restraining order secured by petitioner Go in the lower court, the same would have already been
sold at a public auction.
- In sum, the cancellation of the real estate mortgage, subject of the instant petition, is a real action,
considering that a real estate mortgage is a real right and a real property by itself.[35]An action for
cancellation of real estate mortgage is necessarily an action affecting the title to the property. It is,
therefore, a real action which should be commenced and tried in Mandaluyong City, the place
where the subject property lies.
CIVIL PROCEDURE: RULES 1-3 CASE DIGEST

7. GOCHAN vs GOCHAN

Gochan vs Gochan
Title: Gochan v. Gochan
G.R. No. 143089. February 27, 2003
Petitioners: Mercedes R. Gochan, Alfredo R. Gochan, Angelina R. Gochan Hernaez, Ma. Merced R.
Gochan Gorospe, Crispo R. Gochan Jr. and Marlon R. Gochan
Respondents: Virginia Gochan, Louise Gochan, Lapulapu Real Estate Corporation, Felix Gochan &
Sons Realty Corporation and Mactan Realty Corporation
Ponente: Panganiban, J.:

Doctrine:
The elements of the litis pendetia or res judicata are not present as the two petitions do not seek
the same relief. Hence, forum-shopping is commited.

FACTS:
Private respondents filed a Complaint for Specific Performance and Damages against petitioners,
who, in turn, filed their Answer with Counterclaim and affirmative defenses. Before pre-trial could
be conducted, petitioners filed a motion for a hearing on their affirmative defenses. Respondent
judge denied petitioners motion without conducting a hearing. Respondent judge however did not
stop with the denial but went on to rule on the merits of the affirmative defenses.
The above ruling is the subject of a petition for certiorari which is pending resolution on a motion for
reconsideration. Because of the pendency of this petition, petitioners filed a motion to suspend
proceedings. Instead of suspending proceedings, the respondent judge set the case for pre-trial.
After the termination of the pre-trial, respondent judge proceeded to hear the evidence of private
respondents. Petitioners’ counsel went to court and was surprised to learn that his motion to reset
the hearing was disregarded and that trial proceeded with private respondents counsel conducting a
re-direct examination of their first witness and presenting their second witness on direct
examination.
Petitioners filed a motion to inhibit respondent judge from further sitting in the case on grounds of
partiality, pre-judgment and gross ignorance of the law. The motion was denied on the ground that
petitioners failed to appear to substantiate the motion.
Petitioners filed a motion for reconsideration of the order of denial which the respondent judge
likewise denied in his Order, reiterating that petitioners failed to appear during the hearing on the
motion.

ISSUE: Whether or not respondents are guilty of forum shopping.

HELD:
NO. For filing two Petitions raising the same issues, respondents allegedly split their cause of action
and thus became guilty of forum shopping. Petitioners further contend that the elements of litis
pendentia or res judicata are present in the case at bar, because the matter raised in this Petition
could have been taken up in the first one.
The Court made a distinction between the two Petitions filed. The first involved the propriety of the
affirmative defenses relied upon by petitioners [herein respondents] in Civil Case No. CEB-21 854.
The second Petition, which is the subject of the present appeal, raised the issue of whether or not
public respondent Judge Dicdican was guilty of manifest partiality warranting his inhibition from
CIVIL PROCEDURE: RULES 1-3 CASE DIGEST

further hearing Civil Case No. CEB-21 854. The two petitions did not seek the same relief from the
Court of Appeals. In CA-G.R. SP. No. 49084, petitioners prayed, among others, for the annulment of
the orders of the trial court denying their motion for preliminary hearing on affirmative defenses in
Civil Case No. CEB-21854. No such reliefs are involved in the second petition, where petitioners
merely prayed for the issuance of an order enjoining public respondent Judge Dicdican from further
trying the case and to assign a new judge in his stead.

8. MANCHESTER DEVP. CORP. vs COURT OF APPEALS

MANCHESTER DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION et al.


v.
CA, CITYLAND DEVELOPMENT CORP. et al.
G.R. No. 75919, May 07, 1987
Petitioner: MANCHESTER DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION
Respondent: CA, CITYLAND DEVELOPMENT CORP., et al.
Ponente: J. Emilio Gancayco

Doctrine: The Court acquires jurisdiction over any case only upon the payment of the prescribed
docket fee. An amendment of the complaint or similar pleading will not thereby vest jurisdiction in
the Court, much less the payment of the docket fee based on the amounts sought in the amended
pleading.

Facts:
Manchester Development Corporation filed a complaint for specific performance against Cityland
Development Corporation to compel the latter to execute a deed of sale in favor of Manchester.
Manchester also alleged that Cityland forfeited the former’s tender of payment for a certain
transaction causing damages to Manchester amounting to P78,750,000.00. The amount was alleged
in the body of the complaint but it was not reiterated in the prayer.
Manchester paid a docket fee of P410.00 only. The docket fee is premised on the allegation of
petitioner that their action is primarily for specific performance hence it is incapable of pecuniary
estimation. The CA ruled that there is an under assessment of docket fees hence it ordered
Manchester to amend its complaint. Manchester complied but what it did was to lower the amount
of claim for damages to P10M. Said amount was however again not stated in the prayer.
Petitioner filed a Motion for Reconsideration on the resolution of the Supreme Court Second
Division and another Motion to refer the case to and be heard in oral argument by the Court En
Banc.
Petitioner cites the case of Magaspi v. Remolete in support of its contention.

Issue: W/N an amended complaint or similar pleading will vest jurisdiction in the Court.

Held: NO
The Court of Appeals aptly ruled in the present case that the basis of assessment of the docket fee
should be the amount of damages sought in the original complaint and not in the amended
complaint.
The Court frowns at the practice of counsel who filed the original complaint in this case of omitting
any specification of the amount of damages in the prayer although the amount of over P78 million is
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alleged in the body of the complaint. This is clearly intended for no other purpose than to evade the
payment of the correct filing fees if not to mislead the docket clerk in the assessment of the filing
fee.
Henceforth, all complaints, petitions, answers and other similar pleadings should specify the amount
of damages being prayed for not only in the body of the pleading but also in the prayer, and said
damages shall be considered in the assessment of the filing fees in any case. Any pleading that fails
to comply with this requirement shall not be accepted nor admitted, or shall otherwise be expunged
from the record.
The Court acquires jurisdiction over any case only upon the payment of the prescribed docket fee.
An amendment of the complaint or similar pleading will not thereby vest jurisdiction in the Court,
much less the payment of the docket fee based on the amounts sought in the amended pleading.
The ruling in the Magaspi case in so far as it is inconsistent with this pronouncement is overturned
and reversed.
Motion for Reconsideration DENIED for lack of merit.

9. SUN INSURANCE LTD. vs ASUNCION

SUN INSURACE OFFICE LTD. v J. ASUNCION


G.R. Nos. 79937-38 February 13, 1989
Petitioners: SUN INSURANCE OFFICE, LTD., (SIOL), E.B. PHILIPPS and D.J. WARBY
Respondents: HON. MAXIMIANO C. ASUNCION, Presiding Judge, Branch 104, RTC-QC and MANUEL
CHUA UY PO TIONG
Ponente: GANCAYCO, J

DOCTRINE(S):
MAIN: The Court acquires jurisdiction over any case only upon the payment of the prescribed
docket fee. An amendment of the complaint or similar pleading will not thereby vest jurisdiction in
the Court, much less the payment of the docket fee based on the amounts sought in the amended
pleading. (MANCHESTER v CA)
AS TO RETROACTIVITY OF COURT DECISIONS: Statutes regulating the procedure of the courts will
be construed as applicable to actions pending and undetermined at the time of their passage.
Procedural laws are retrospective in that sense and to that extent.

FACTS:
Petitioner Sun Insurance Office, Ltd. (SIOL) filed a complaint with the Makati RTC for the
consignation of a premium refund on a fire insurance policy with a prayer for the judicial
declaration of its nullity against private respondent Manuel Uy Po Tiong. Private respondent was
declared in default for failure to file the required answer within the reglementary period. On the
other hand, private respondent filed a complaint in the QC RTC for the refund of premiums and
the issuance of a writ of preliminary attachment initially against petitioner SIOL, and thereafter
including E.B. Philipps and D.J. Warby as additional defendants. Although the prayer in the
complaint did not quantify the amount of damages sought said amount may be inferred from the
body of the complaint to be about Fifty Million Pesos (P50,000,000.00).
Only the amount of P210.00 was paid by private respondent as docket fee which prompted
petitioners' counsel to raise his objection. Said objection was disregarded by respondent Judge Jose
P. Castro who was then presiding over said case. Upon the order of this Court, the records of said
case together with twenty-two other cases assigned to different branches of the QC-RTC which were
CIVIL PROCEDURE: RULES 1-3 CASE DIGEST

under investigation for under-assessment of docket fees were transmitted to this Court. The Court
thereafter re-raffled to the other judges in QC, to the exclusion of Judge Castro.
On October 15, 1985, the Court en banc issued a Resolution in an Administrative Case directing the
judges in said cases to reassess the docket fees and that in case of deficiency, to order its payment.
The Resolution also requires all clerks of court to issue certificates of re-assessment of docket fees.
All litigants were likewise required to specify in their pleadings the amount sought to be
recovered in their complaints. On December 16, 1985, Judge Antonio P. Solano,(temporary judge)
issued an order to the Clerk of Court instructing him to issue a certificate of assessment of the
docket fee paid by private respondent and, in case of deficiency, to include the same in said
certificate. To forestall a default, a cautionary answer was filed by petitioners while an amended
complaint was filed by private respondent including the two additional defendants aforestated.
Judge Maximiano C. Asuncion, to whom this case was thereafter assigned, issued a Supplemental
Order requiring the parties to comment on the Clerk of Court's letter-report signifying her difficulty
in complying with the Resolution. Private respondent thereafter filed a "Compliance" and a "Re-
Amended Complaint" stating therein a claim of "not less than Pl0,000,000.00 as actual
compensatory damages" in the prayer. In the body of the said second amended complaint
however, private respondent alleges actual and compensatory damages and attorney's fees in the
total amount of about P44,601,623.70. Respondent Judge then issued another Order admitting the
second amended complaint and stating therein that the same constituted proper compliance with
the Resolution and should be reassessed based on private respondent's claim of "not less than
P10,000,000.00 as actual and compensatory damages". This amounted to P39,786.00 as docket fee
and was subsequently paid by private respondent which the petitioners questioned via certiorari
with the CA.
On April 24, 1986, private respondent filed a supplemental complaint alleging an additional claim of
P20,000,000.00 as damages so the total claim amounts to about P64,601,623.70. Seven months
after filing the supplemental complaint, the private respondent paid the additional docket fee of
P80,396.00.
On August 13, 1987, the CA denied the petitioners motion to dismiss the complaint and granted
the writ of preliminary attachment but gave due course to questioning of the docket fee stating
that it should be based on P25,401,707.00. During the pendency of this petition and in conformity
with the said judgment of respondent court, private respondent paid the additional docket fee of
P62,432.90 on April 28, 1988.

ISSUE: Whether or not the RTC acquired jurisdiction over the case when the correct and proper
docket fee has not been paid

HELD: YES.
RATIO:
1. It is not simply the filing of the complaint or appropriate initiatory pleading, but the payment of
the prescribed docket fee that vests a trial court with jurisdiction over the subject matter or nature
of the action. Where the filing of the initiatory pleading is not accompanied by payment of the
docket fee, the court may allow payment of the fee within a reasonable time but in no case
beyond the applicable prescriptive or reglementary period.
2. The same rule applies to permissive counterclaims, third party claims and similar pleadings, which
shall not be considered filed until and unless the filing fee prescribed therefor is paid. The court may
also allow payment of said fee within a reasonable time but also in no case beyond its applicable
prescriptive or reglementary period.
CIVIL PROCEDURE: RULES 1-3 CASE DIGEST

3. Where the trial court acquires jurisdiction over a claim by the filing of the appropriate pleading
and payment of the prescribed filing fee but, subsequently, the judgment awards a claim not
specified in the
pleading, or if specified the same has been left for determination by the court, the additional filing
fee therefor shall constitute a lien on the judgment. It shall be the responsibility of the Clerk of Court
or his duly authorized deputy to enforce said lien and assess and collect the additional fee.

10. TACAY vs RTC OF TAGUM

Tacoy vs RTC of Tagum


Maximo Tacay, Ponciano Panes and Antonia Noel vs. RTC of Tagum, Davao Del Norte, Branches 1
and 2, presided by Hon. Marcial Ferndez and Hon. Jesus Matas, respectively, Patsita Gamutan,
Clerk of Court and Godofredo Pineda, G.R. No. 88075-77, December 20, 1989
Ponente: Narvasa, J.

Doctrine:
Where the action involves real property and a related claim for damages as well, the legal fees shall
be assessed on the basis of both
a. the value of the property
b. total amount of the related damages sought
Court acquires jurisdiction over the action involving real property upon the filing of the complaint
and payment of prescribed fee. It is not divested of that authority over accompanying claims or
damages because of lack of specification thereof. Those claims as to which no amounts are stated
must simply be expunged or allow a reasonable time for amendment of the complaints to allege the
precise amount and accept payment of requisite fees within the relevant prescriptive period.

Facts: Godofredo instituted 3 actions for recovery of possession docketed as:


1. vs. Antonia Noel Civ Case No. 2209
2. vs. Ponciano Panes Civ Case No. 2210
3. vs. Maximo Tacay Civ Case No. 2211
Cases 2209 and 2211 were raffled to Judge Hernandez and Case 2210 was assigned to Judge Matas.
The complaints have the same facts:
1. Pineda was the owner of a 790 sqm. parcel of land evidenced by a TCT
2. the previous owner allowed the defendants to occupy portions of the land by mere tolerance
3. Pineda made demands for the defendants to vacate the property and pay reasonable rentals but
was refused
4. the last demand had been made more than a year prior to the commencement of suit.
The complaints prayed for the same reliefs:
1. that the plaintiff be declared the owner of the areas occupied
2. that the defendants be ordered to vacate and deliver the portions of land usurped by them
3. that each defendant be ordered to pay 2k as monthly rent, actual damages, moral and nominal
damages, and 30K attorney’s fees and representation fees of 5l per day of appearance.
4. That Pineda be granted further relief and remedies just and equitable in the premises
Motion to dismiss were filed in behalf of each of the defendants. Each motion alleged that Trial
Court had not acquired jurisdiction of the case because the complaint violates Circular No. 7 of the
CIVIL PROCEDURE: RULES 1-3 CASE DIGEST

SC date March 24, 1988 by failing to specify all the amounts of damages and eben the basic
requirement as to the assessed value of the lot.
Judge Matas DENIED the motion in Civ. Case 2210 but ordered the deletion of the part of the
complaint regarding moral as well as nominal damages and also the handwritten amount for actual
damages in the conclusion and prayer of the complaint.
The motions to dismiss in Civ. Cases 2211 and 2209 were also denied on March 15, 1989 by Judge
Hernandez declaring that
1. the action at bar is for Reinvindicatoria, Damages and Attorney’s fees and as such this court has
exclusive jurisdiction
2. claims for actual, moral and nominal damages are only one aspect of the cause of action
3. because of the absence of specification of the amounts of moral, nominal and actual damages
they should be expunged from the records.
In a Joint Petition filed by petitioners for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus with prayer for TRO
and/or writ of preliminary prohibitory injunction, praying essentially that said order be annulled and
that all complaints be dismissed on the following grounds
a. because the complaints failed to state the amounts being claimed as actual, moral and nominal
damages, the Trial Court a quo had not acquired jurisdiction over the 3 civil actions
it was not proper merely to expunge the claims for damages and allow ―the so-called cause of
action for reivindicatoria to remain for trial‖ by itself.

Issue: WON respondent judges committed grave abuse of discretion. -- NO

Held: Petition is DISMISSED.


Joint petition is dismissed on the following grounds:
1. for failure to comply with Court’s Circular No. 1-88 where the copies of the challenged orders
were not certified by the proper clerk of court because the certification was done by the petitioners’
counsel which is NOT ALLOWED.
2. It fails to demonstrate any grave abuse of discretion of the respondent judges
3. Actions are basically NOT for the recovery of sums of money but for recovery of possession of real
property (accion publiciana). Determinative of the court’s jurisdiction is the nature not the amount
of damages. Such acion is a real action and may be commenced and prosecuted without an
accompanying claim for actual, moral, nominal or exemplary damages and such would fall within the
exclusive original jurisdiction of the RTC.
BP 129 provides that RTCs shall exercise exclusive original jurisdiction inter alia over "all civil actions
which involve the title to, or possession of, real property, or any interest therein, except actions for
forcible entry into and unlawful detainer of lands or buildings, original jurisdiction over which is
conferred upon Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts, and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts."
Circular No. 7 can’t be invoked. As laid down in the Manchester case, such application is limited and
is further clarified in the case of SIOL v. Asuncion. In the latter case, it says that, 1. The trial court
now being authorized to allow payment of the fee within a reasonable time but in no case beyond
the applicable prescriptive period
2. damages arising after the filing of the complaint or the similar shall constitute a lien on the
judgment.
Therefore, in actions or proceedings involving real property the property is immaterial to the court’s
jurisdiction, but in actions involving personal property of the recovery of money and/or damages,
the value of the property or the amount of the demand is decisive of the trail court’s competence.
However, where the action involves real property and a related claim for damages as well, the legal
fees shall be assessed on the basis of both
CIVIL PROCEDURE: RULES 1-3 CASE DIGEST

a. the value of the property


b. total amount of the related damages sought
Court acquires jurisdiction over the action involving real property upon the filing of the complaint
and payment of prescribed fee. It is not divested of that authority over accompanying claims or
damages because of lack of specification thereof. Those claims as to which no amounts are stated
must simply be expunged or allow a reasonable time for amendment of the complaints to allege the
precise amount and accept payment of requisite fees within the relevant prescriptive period.

11. AYALA CORP. vs MADAYAG

Ayala Corp vs Madayag


G.R. No. 88421 January 30, 1990
AYALA CORPORATION, LAS PIÑAS VENTURES, INC., and FILIPINAS LIFE ASSURANCE COMPANY,
INC., petitioners
vs.
THE HONORABLE JOB B. MADAYAG, PRESIDING JUDGE, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, NATIONAL
CAPITAL JUDICIAL REGION, BRANCH 145 and THE SPOUSES CAMILO AND MA. MARLENE SABIO,
respondents.
Ponente: GANCAYCO, J.:

Doctrine: the determination of certain damages as exemplary or reactive damages are determined
by the sound discretion of the court, it is the duty of the parties claiming such damages to specify
the amount sought and for the proper assessment of the docket fees. The exception contemplated
as to claims not specified or to claims although specified are left for determination of the court is
limited only to any damages that may arise after the filing of the complaint or similar pleading for
then it will not be possible for the claimant to specify nor speculate as to the amount thereof.

FACTS: Private respondents spouses Sabio filed against petitioners Ayala Corp, Las Piñas Ventures
and Filipinas Life Insurance an action for specific performance with damages in the RTC of Makati.
Petitioners filed a motion to dismiss on the ground that the lower court has not acquired jurisdiction
over the case as private respondents failed to pay the prescribed docket fee as private respondents
only paid the total amount of P1,616.00 instead of the amount of P13,061.35 based on the assessed
value of the real properties involved as evidence by its tax declaration and specify the amount of
exemplary damages sought both in the body and in the prayer of the amended and supplemental
complaint. However, the trial court denied the motion. A motion for reconsideration was filed by
petitioners but it was likewise denied.
Under the doctrine of Manchester Development Corp vs CA, the docket fee should be assessed by
considering the amount of damages as alleged in the original complaint. However, petitioner
contends that since the action concerns real estate, the assessed value thereof should be
considered in computing the fees pursuant to Section 5, Rule 141 of the Rules of Court. Such rule
cannot apply to this case which is an action for specific performance with damages although it is in
relation to a transaction involving real estate. Petitioner further alleged that since private
respondents didn't specify the amount of the exemplary damages, the complaint must be dismissed.
TRIAL COURT DENIED the motion stating that the determination of the exemplary damages is within
the sound discretion of the court and that it would be unwarrantedly presumptuous on the part of
the private respondents to fix the amount of the exemplary damages to be prayed for.
CIVIL PROCEDURE: RULES 1-3 CASE DIGEST

The trial court cited the subsequent case of Sun Insurance vs. Judge Asuncion 2 in support of its
ruling.
The clarificatory and additional rules laid down in Sun Insurance are as follows:
1. It is not simply the filing of the complaint or appropriate initiatory pleading, but (also) the
payment of the prescribed docket fee that vests a trial court with jurisdiction over the subject-
matter or nature of the action. Where the filing of the initiatory pleading is not accompanied by
payment of the docket fee, the court may allow payment of the fee within a reasonable tune but in
no case beyond the applicable prescriptive or reglementary period.
2. The same rule applies to permissive counterclaims, third party claims and similar pleadings, which
shall not be considered filed until and unless the filing fee prescribed therefor is paid. The court may
also allow payment of said fee within a reasonable time but also in no case beyond its applicable
prescriptive or reglementary period.
3. Where the trial court acquires jurisdiction over a claim by the filing of the appropriate pleading
and payment of the prescribed filing fee but, subsequently, the judgment awards a claim not
specified in the pleading, or if specified, the same has been left for determination by the court, the
additional filing fee therefor shall constitute a lien on the judgment. It shall be the responsibility of
the Clerk of Court or his duly authorized deputy to enforce said lien and assess and collect the
additional fee.

ISSUE: Whether or not the lack of specified amount in exemplary damages prayed for is a material
defect in the case.

RULING: The court ruled that the trial court misinterpreted paragraph 3 of the above ruling of this
Court wherein it is stated that "where the judgment awards a claim not specified in the pleading, or
if specified, the same has been left for the determination of the court, the additional filing fee
therefor shall constitute a lien on the judgment" by considering it to mean that where in the body
and prayer of the complaint there is a prayer, say for exemplary or corrective damages, the amount
of which is left to the discretion of the Court, there is no need to specify the amount being sought,
and that any award thereafter shall constitute a lien on the judgment.
Under the doctrine of Tacay vs RTC of Tagum, the court ruled that the phrase "awards of claims not
specified in the pleading" refers only to "damages arising after the filing of the complaint or similar
pleading . . . as to which the additional filing fee therefor shall constitute a lien on the judgment."
The amount of any claim for damages, therefore, arising on or before the filing of the complaint or
any pleading, should be specified. Although it is true that the determination of certain damages as
exemplary or reactive damages are determined by the sound discretion of the court, it is the duty of
the parties claiming such damages to specify the amount sought and for the proper assessment of
the docket fees. The exception contemplated as to claims not specified or to claims although
specified are left for determination of the court is limited only to any damages that may arise after
the filing of the complaint or similar pleading for then it will not be possible for the claimant to
specify nor speculate as to the amount thereof.
The amended and supplemental complaint in the present case, therefore, suffers from the material
defect in failing to state the amount of exemplary damages prayed for.
WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The trial court is directed either to expunge from the record
the claim for exemplary damages in the amended and supplemental complaint, the amount of
which is not specified, or it may otherwise, upon motion, give reasonable time to private
respondents to amend their pleading by specifying its amount and paying the corresponding
docketing fees within the appropriate reglementary or prescriptive period. No costs.
CIVIL PROCEDURE: RULES 1-3 CASE DIGEST

12. NEGROS ORIENTAL PLANTERS vs HON. PRESIDING JUDGE OF NEGROS

Negros Oriental vs Negros


Negros Occidental Planters Association vs. Hon. Presiding Judge of Negros
Petitioner: Negros Occidental Planters Association, Inc. (NOPA)
Respondents: Hon. Presiding Judge of Negros and Aniceto Manojocampos
Ponente: Chico-Nazario

Doctrine:
What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. A party cannot expect its opponent to comply
with the technical rules of procedure while at the same time hoping for relaxation of the
technicalities in its favor.

Facts:
Petition for certiorari seeking reversal of CA’s resolution dated May 23, 2007 and August 15, 2007
that outrightly dismissed the Petition for Certiorari filed by NOPA against Campos.
On March 17, 1999, Campos filed a complaint for Breach of Contract with Damages against NOPA
before the RTC of Negros Occidental. Capos and NOPA entered into 2 separate contracts
denominated as Molasses Sales Agreement. Campos paid the consideration for such agreement in
full but was only to receive partial delivery of the molasses because of a disagreement with regard
to the quality of the products delivered.
On August 17, 2005, NOPA filed its answer and filed a motion to dismiss on the ground of failure of
Campos to file the correct filing fee. The petitioner further claimed that Campos deliberately
concealed in his complaint the exact amount of actual damages by opting to estimate the value of
the received goods to escape payment of proper docket fees.
On June 30, 2006, RTC denied the motion to dismiss and NOPA received the same on July 17, 2006.
On August 1, 2006, NOPA filed a Motion for Reconsideration and on January 5, 2007 RTC denied the
same.
On April 2, 2007, NOPA filed a petition for Certiorari before the CA but was dismissed on May 23,
2007 on the following grounds:
1. Failure of the petitioner to state that the allegations are based on authentic records (violating Sec.
4 of Rule 7 of 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure)
2. Failure of the petitioner to append relevant pleadings and documents which would aid in the
resolution of the petition (violating Sec. 1 of Rule 65 of Rules of Court)
3. Failure of the petitioner’s counsel to indicate his current IBP Official Receipt Number (Bar matter
No. 1132 and/or A.M. No. 287)
On June 22, 2007 NOPA filed a motion for reconsideration attaching the amended petition for
certiorari in compliance with the above mentioned requirements. CA denied said motion dated
August 16, 2007.

Issue: WON CA committed reversible error when it ruled that there was no substantial compliance
with the procedural requirements when the petitioner failed to allege in its verification that the
allegations therein are true and correct of this personal knowledge or based on authentic records
and failure to attach the necessary documents as required in Sec. 1, Rule 65 or the 1997 Rules of
Civil Procedure
CIVIL PROCEDURE: RULES 1-3 CASE DIGEST

Held/Ratio: Resolutions of CA outrightly dismissing the petition for certiorari filed by petitioner
against Campos are AFFIRMED.
Petitioner argues the following:
1. The requirement that the pleading be verified is a merely formal and not jurisdictional. The court
may give due course to unverified pleading where material facts alleged are a matter of record and
the question raised are mainly of law.
2. That NOPA had attached clearly legible and duplicate original or certified true copy of judgment
or final order or resolution and the requisite number of copies and such material portions of record
as would support the petition.
3. NOPA’s substantial compliance demonstrates its good faith to abide by the procedural
requirements
4. Jurisdictional issue raised by petitioner against the Public respondent CA would justify the
relaxation of rules.
As to the first argument, the petitioner is mistaken in claiming that a verification that contains the
allegation ―to the best of my knowledge‖ and the allegation ―are true and correct,‖ as cited in the
case of Decano v. Edu and Quimpo v. De La Victoria, constitute substantial compliance because such
cited cases were promulgated prior to the amended of Sec. 4 of Rule 7 of 1997 Rules of Civil
Procedure which made the verification requirement stricter and as such the party can’t now merely
state under oath that he ―believes‖ the statements made in the pleading. His knowledge must be
specifically alleged under oath to be either personal knowledge or at least based on authentic
records. Such failure to verify a pleading will be treated as unsigned and not uncurable as in Sec. 5
(forum shopping). It produced no legal effect and is subject to the discretion of the court to allow
the deficiency to be remedied. In this case, CA refused to allow such deficiency.
Note: CA may reverse the exercise of discretion of the lower court (upon showing of a strong and
clear case of abuse of power to prejudice the appellant or is rested on an erroneous principle of law)
but the GENERAL RULE is the decisions of a trial court which “lie in discretion” will NOT be reviewed
on appeal, whether the case be civil or criminal at law or in equity.
The case at bar also demonstrates a situation where in there is no effect on the substantial rights of
the litigant because the alleged deficiency in the payment of docket fees would not inure to NOPA’s
benefit. While it such requirement is jurisdictional, it is also a technicality and in seeking leniency of
this court, NOPA is praying for a writ of certiorari from being decided on merits.
What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. A party cannot expect its opponent to comply
with the technical rules of procedure while at the same time hoping for relaxation of the
technicalities in its favor.
The case of Manchester as cited by the petitioner where in the court ruled that the court acquires
jurisdiction over any case only upon payment of prescribed docket fee is not applicable in this case
because there is lack of deliberate intent to defraud which was manifested in the mentioned case.
Hence the case of SIOL v. Asuncion must be applied an the Motion to dismiss by NOPA should be
denied.

13. HEIRS OF BERTULDO HINOG vs MELICOR

Heirs of Bertuldo Hinog v. Melicor

FACTS • The Balanes, the private respondents in this case, filed a complaint for the recovery of
ownership and possession as well as removal of construction and damages (moral & exemplary) against
CIVIL PROCEDURE: RULES 1-3 CASE DIGEST

Bertuldo Hinog. • It was alleged that the Balanes are the owners of a parcel of land in Bohol, which they
have rented to Bertuldo for 10 years with an annual rental of 100php. Bertuldo, thereafter, constructed
a house of light materials in the said lot. • However, after the expiry of the 10 years, Bertuldo refused to
surrender the lot and even claimed ownership over the same by virtue of a deed of absolute sale
executed by one Tomas Pahac, with the alleged conformity of the Balanes. • Trial on the merits ensued
but Bertuldo died without completing his evidence. • Consequently, Bertuldo III designated Atty.
Petalcorin to be his new counsel. The latter filed a motion to expunge the complaint and nullify all
proceedings on the ground that the amount of damages claimed is not stated so the proper docket fee
was not paid by the Balanes hence the court did not acquire jurisdiction. Under the Manchester Ruling,
Nonpayment of the correct docket fee is jurisdictional. • The trial court granted the motion but later on
reinstated the case after the payment of the correct docket fee. • Instead of filing for an MR, a
supplemental pleading was filed by Atty. Petalcorin appending therein the Deed of Sale of the lot in
question. The trial court denied the supplemental pleading on the ground that the Deed is a new matter,
never mentioned in the original answer prepared by Bertuldo’s original counsel. • Hence, this petition
for certiorari and prohibition ISSUE: WON the petitioners may challenge the court’s jurisdiction? HELD:
NO! After recognizing the jurisdiction of the trial court by seeking affirmative relief in their motion to
serve supplemental pleading upon private respondents, petitioners are effectively barred by estoppel
from challenging the trial court's jurisdiction. If a party invokes the jurisdiction of a court, he cannot
thereafter challenge the court's jurisdiction in the same case. To rule otherwise would amount to
speculating on the fortune of litigation, which is against the policy of the Court. It is worth noting that
when Bertuldo filed his Answer on July 2, 1991, he did not raise the issue of lack of jurisdiction for non-
payment of correct docket fees. Instead, he based his defense on a claim of ownership and participated
in the proceedings before the trial court. It was only in September 22, 1998 or more than seven years
after filing the answer, and under the auspices of a new counsel, that the issue of jurisdiction was raised
for the first time in the motion to expunge by Bertuldo's heirs. After Bertuldo vigorously participated in
all stages of the case before the trial court and even invoked the trial court's authority in order to ask for
affirmative relief, petitioners, considering that they merely stepped into the shoes of their predecessor,
are effectively barred by estoppel from challenging the trial court's jurisdiction. Although the issue of
jurisdiction may be raised at any stage of the proceedings as the same is conferred by law, it is
nonetheless settled that a party may be barred from raising it on ground of laches or estoppel.
Additional:

Issue: WON the non-payment of the proper docket fee at the time of the filing of the complaint
automatically causes the dismissal of the action?

NO Ratio: The Court has held that the Manchester rule has been modified in Sun Insurance Office, Ltd.
(SIOL) vs. Asuncion, which defined the following guidelines involving the payment of docket fees: 1. It is
not simply the filing of the complaint or appropriate initiatory pleading, but the payment of the
prescribed docket fee, that vests a trial court with jurisdiction over the subject-matter or nature of the
action. Where the filing of the initiatory pleading is not accompanied by payment of the docket fee, the
court may allow payment of the fees within a reasonable time but in no case beyond the applicable
CIVIL PROCEDURE: RULES 1-3 CASE DIGEST

prescriptive or reglementary period. X X X Plainly, while the payment of the prescribed docket fee is a
jurisdictional requirement, even its non-payment at the time of filing does not automatically cause the
dismissal of the case, as long as the fee is paid within the applicable prescriptive or reglementary period,
more so when the party involved demonstrates a willingness to abide by the rules prescribing such
payment.[46] Thus, when insufficient filing fees were initially paid by the plaintiffs and there was no
intention to defraud the government, the Manchester rule does not apply.

III. CAUSE OF ACTION [RULE 2, SECTIONS 1-6]

1. JUANA COMPLEX HOMEOWNERS vs FIL-ESTATE LAND

JUANA COMPLEX I HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION, G.R. No. 152272; G. R. No. 152397


petitioners vs. FIL-ESTATE LAND, INC., respondents
March 5, 2012 Velasco, Jr., J.
TOPIC IN SYLLABUS: Parties
SUMMARY: Petitioners filedthis class suit in representation of commuters and motorists who
regularly use the La Paz Road. They filed an action for damages against Fil-Estate, who excavated
and rendered impassable the said public road, which the petitioners and those similarly situated,
have been using for more than 10 years already. On the other hand, Fil-Estate questions the
propriety of filing the complaint as a class suit.

DOCTRINE: The necessary elements for the maintenance of a class suit are: 1) the subject matter of
controversy is one of common or general interest to many persons; 2) the parties affected are so
numerous that it is impracticable to bring them all to court; and 3) the parties bringing the class suit
are sufficiently numerous or representative of the class and can fully protect the interests of all
concerned.

FACTS:

JCHA et.al. (Homeowners Association, individual residents of Juana Complex I and neighboring
subdivisions) instituted an action for damages, in its own behalf and as a class suit, against Fil-Estate.

The complaint alleged that plaintiffs are regular commuters and motorists who constantly travel
along SLEX through a public road known as La Paz Road for more than 10 years. However, Fil-Estate
deliberately excavated, ruined, and closed said road, which made it not passable to motorists and
pedestrians. Despite complaints, Fil-Estate failed to make repairs on the road, causing damage and
inconvenience to motorists.

Fil-Estate filed a motion to dismiss, alleging that the complaint failed to state a cause of action and
that it was improperly filed as a class suit. RTC denied the motion to dismiss. CA upheld the RTC.

PETITIONER’S ARGUMENT(S):

While they agree with the CA that the complaint sufficiently stated a cause of action, they disagree
with the pronouncement that full-blown trial on the merits was necessary. They claim that during
CIVIL PROCEDURE: RULES 1-3 CASE DIGEST

the hearing on the application of the writ of injunction, they had sufficiently proven that La Paz Road
was a public road and that commuters and motorists of their neighboring villages had used this road
as their means of access toschools, churches, etc.

They also point out that La Paz Road has attained the status and character of a public road or
burdened by an apparent easement of public right of way.

RESPONDENT’S ARGUMENT(S):

JCHA, et al. failed to prove the existence of a right of way or a right to pass over La Paz Road and
that the closure of the said road constituted an injury to such right. According to them, La Paz Road
is a torrens registered private road and there is neither a voluntary nor legal easement constituted
over it.

ISSUE(S): —Y/N

(1) WON the complaint states a cause of action; - Y


(2) WON the complaint has been properly filed as a class suit; - Y
(3) WON a writ of preliminary injunction is warranted - N

HELD: CA is affirmed.

1. The test of sufficiency of facts alleged in the complaint as constituting a cause of action is whether
or not admitting the facts alleged, the court could render a valid verdict in accordance with the
prayer of said complaint.

In the present case, the Court finds the allegations in the complaint sufficient to establish a cause of
action. First, JCHA, etal.s averments in the complaint show a demandable right over La Paz Road.
These are: (1) their right to use the road on the basis of their allegation that they had been using the
road for more than 10 years; and (2) an easement of a right of way has been constituted over the
said roads. There is no other road as wide as La Paz Road existing in the vicinity and it is the shortest,
convenient and safe route towards SLEX Halang that the commuters and motorists may use. Second,
there is an alleged violation of such right committed by Fil-Estate, et al. when they excavated the
road and prevented the commuters and motorists from using the same. Third, JCHA, et al.
consequently suffered injury and that a valid judgment could have been rendered in accordance
with the relief sought therein.

2. The necessary elements for the maintenance of a class suit are: 1) the subject matter of
controversy is one of common or general interest to many persons; 2) the parties affected are so
numerous that it is impracticable to bring them all to court; and 3) the parties bringing the class suit
are sufficiently numerous or representative of the class and can fully protect the interests of all
concerned.

In this case, the suit is clearly one that benefits all commuters and motorists who use La Paz Road.

The subject matter of the instant case, i.e., the closure and excavation of the La Paz Road, is initially
shown to be of common or general interest to many persons. The records reveal that numerous
individuals have filed manifestations with the lower court, conveying their intention to join private
CIVIL PROCEDURE: RULES 1-3 CASE DIGEST

respondents in the suit and claiming that they are similarly situated with private respondents for
they were also prejudiced by the acts of petitioners in closing and excavating the La Paz Road.
Moreover, the individuals sought to be represented by private respondents in the suit are so
numerous that it is impracticable to join them all as parties and be named individually as plaintiffs in
the complaint. These individuals claim to be residents of various barangays in Bian, Laguna and
other barangays in San Pedro, Laguna.

3. A writ of preliminary injunction is available to prevent a threatened or continuous irremediable


injury to parties before their claims can be thoroughly studied and adjudicated. The requisites for its
issuance are: (1) the existence of a clear and unmistakable right that must be protected; and (2) an
urgent and paramount necessity for the writ to prevent serious damage. For the writ to issue, the
right sought to be protected must be a present right, a legal right which must be shown to be clear
and positive. This means that the persons applying for the writ must show that they have an
ostensible right to the final relief prayed for in their complaint.

In the case at bench, JCHA, et al. failed to establish a prima facie proof of violation of their right to
justify the issuance of a WPI. Their right to the use of La Paz Road is disputable since they have no
clear legal right therein.

Consequently, the case should be further heard by the RTC so that the parties can fully prove their
respective positions on the issues.

2. DEL ROSARIO vs FAR EAST BANK AND TRUST COMPANY

Del Rosario v FEBTC


Petitioners: Ernesto C. Del Rosario and Davao Timber Corporation Respondents: Far East Bank &
Trust Company, and Private Development Corporation of the Phils.
Ponente: Carpio-Morales

Doctrine:
To allow the re-litigation of an issue that was finally settled in a prior case is to allow the splitting of
a cause of action, a ground for dismissal under Section 4, Rule 2. This rules proscribes a party from
dividing a single or indivisible cause of action into several parts or claims and instituting two or more
actions based on it.

Facts:

1st Case
Petitioner Davao Timber Corp (DATICOR) and respondent Private Development Corp of the Phils.
(PDCP) entered into a loan agreement under which PDCP extended to DATICOR a foreign currency
loan of $265,500 USD and a peso loan of P2.5 million.
The loans were secured by real estate mortgages over six parcels of land (one situated in Manila
registered in the name of petitioner Del Rosario, and five in Mati, Davao Oriental) and chattel
mortgages over pieces of machinery and equipment.
CIVIL PROCEDURE: RULES 1-3 CASE DIGEST

Petitioners paid a total of P3 Million to PDCP which was applied to interest, service fees and penalty
charges. By PDCP’s computation this left an outstanding balance on the principal of more than P10
Million.
On March 1982, petitioners filed a complaint against PDCP before the CFI of Manila for violation of
the Usury Law, annulment of contract and damages. The case was dismissed. On appeal, the IAC set
aside the dismissal of the complaint and declared void and of no effect the stipulation of interest in
the loan agreement. PDCP appealed to the Supreme Court.
During the pendency of the appeal, PDCP assigned a portion of its receivables from the petitioners
to Far East Bank and Trust Company (FEBTC) under a deed of assignment for a consideration of
P5.435 Million. FEBTC, as assignee of the receivables, and petitioners later executed a memorandum
of agreement whereby petitioner agreed to pay FEBTC the amount of P6.4 Million as full settlement
of the receivables.
The SC affirmed in toto the decision of the IAC. It determined that after deducting the P3 Million
earlier paid by the petitioners, their remaining balance was only P1.4 Million.

2nd Case
On September 1992, petitioners filed a complaint for sum of money against PDCP and FEBTC before
the RTC of Makati, mainly to recover the excess payment which they computed to be P5.3 Million;
P4.335 Million from PDCP, and P965,000 from FEBTC.
The RTC rendered a decision ordering PDCP to pay petitioners the sum of P4.035 Million to bear
interest until fully paid, to execute a release or cancellation of the mortgages, and to return the
corresponding titles. As for the complaint against FEBTC, the RTC dismissed it for lack of cause of
action, ratiocinating that the Memorandum between petitioners and FEBTC was not subject to its
decision. Petitioners and PDCP appealed to the CA. The CA held that when PDCP assigned its
receivables, the amount payable to it by DATICOR was the same amount payable to assignee FEBTC,
irrespective of and stipulation that PDCP and FEBTC might have provided in the deed of assignment,
DATICOR not having been a party thereto, hence not bound by its terms. Noting that DATICOR
claimed in its complaint only the amount of P965,000 from FEBTC, the CA held that it could not
grant a relief different from or in excess of that prayed for.
FEBTC’s motion for reconsideration was denied by the CA. SC denied the subsequent appeal.
3rd Case (ito yung main case)
On April 2000, petitioners filed before the RTC of Makati a complaint against FEBTC to recover the
balance of the excess payment of P4.335 Million.
FEBTC submitted that nowhere in the CA’s decision (2nd case) was it held liable to return the whole
amount of P5.435 Million representing the consideration for the assignment to it of the receivables.
FEBTC later filed a third party complaint against PDCP praying the the later be made to pay the
P965,000 adjudged by the CA.
The RTC dismissed the petitioner's complaint on the ground of res judicata and splitting of cause of
action. The RTC recalled that the petitioners had filed a previous case (2nd case) to recover the
overpayment both from PDCP and FEBTC; that when said case was appealed, the CA ordered PDCP
to release and cancel the mortgages and FEBTC to pay P965,000 which became final and executory
on November 1999, and that a notice of satisfaction of judgment between petitioners and FEBTC
was in fact submitted on August 2000. Respecting the third party claim of FEBTC, the RTC held that
FEBTC’s payment to petitioners was in compliance with the final judgment of the CA, hence, it could
not entertain such claim.
The RTC denied petitioner’s motion for reconsideration, hence, the present petition.
CIVIL PROCEDURE: RULES 1-3 CASE DIGEST

Issue:
WON there is res judicata.

Held:
Petition is bereft of merit.
Section 47, Rule 39 provides two rules on the doctrine of res judicata.
First, bar by prior judgment or estoppel by judgment. This states that the judgment or decree of a
court of competent jurisdiction on the merits concludes the parties and their privies to the litigation
and constitutes a bar to a new action or suit involving the same cause of action either before the
same or any other tribunal.
Second, conclusiveness of judgment. This rule provides that any right, fact, or matter in issue
directly adjudicated or necessarily involved in the determination of an action before a competent
court in which a judgment or decree is rendered on the merits is conclusively settled by the
judgment therein and cannot again be litigated between the parties and their privies whether or not
the claim or demand, purpose, or subject matter of the two suits is the same.
The case at bar satisfies the four essential requisites of bar by prior judgment:
(a) finality of the former judgment
(b) the court which rendered the judgement had jurisdiction
(c) it must be a judgment on the merits
(d) identity of parties, subject matter and causes of action
In the two cases, petitioners imputed to FEBTC the same alleged wrongful act of mistakenly
receiving and refusing to return an amount in excess of what was due it in violation of their right to
a refund. The same facts were also pleaded by the parties in support of their allegations for, and
defenses against, the recovery of the P4.335 Million. It is a well established that a party cannot, by
varying the form of action or adopting a different method of presenting his case, or by pleading
justifying circumstances escape the operation of the principle that one and the same cause of action
shall not be twice litigated. To allow the re-litigation of an issue that was finally settled as between
petitioners and FEBTC in a prior case is to allow the splitting of a cause of action, a ground for
dismissal under Section 4, Rule 2. This rules proscribes a party from dividing a single or indivisible
cause of action into several parts or claims and instituting two or more actions based on it. Because
the plaintiff cannot divide the grounds of recovery, he is mandated to set forth in his first action
every ground for relief which he claims to edit an upon which he relies; he cannot be permitted to
rely upon them by piecemeal in successive actions to recover for the same wrong or injury.

3. PROGRESSIVE DEVP. CORP. vs COURT OF APPEALS

PROGRESSIVE DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, INC., vs. CA G.R. No. 123555 January 22, 1999

PRIOR MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION; EXCEPTION

FACTS

Petitioner leased to private respondent Westin Seafood Market, Inc., a parcel of land with a commercial building.
Private respondent failed to pay rentals despite several demands by petitioner. Pursuant to the express authority
granted petitioner under lease agreement, petitioner repossessed the leased premises, inventoried the movable
properties found within and owned by private respondent and scheduled public auction for the sale of the
movables with notice to private respondent.
CIVIL PROCEDURE: RULES 1-3 CASE DIGEST

Private respondent filed with the MeTC a complaint against petitioner for forcible entry with damages. At the
hearing parties agreed, among others, that private respondent would deposit with the Philippine Commercial and
Industrial Bank in the name of the MeTC, the amount of P8,000,000.00 to guarantee the payment of its back
rentals.

Private respondent did not comply with its undertaking to deposit with the designated bank the amount
representing its back rentals. Instead, with the forcible entry case still pending with the MeTC, private respondent
instituted another action for damages against petitioner with the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City.

Petitioner filed a motion, to dismiss the damage suit on the ground of litis pendencia and forum shopping.

Judge Santiago denied the motion to dismiss. Thus, petitioner filed with the Court of Appeals a special civil
action for certiorari. But the Court of Appeals dismissed the petition due to the failure of petitioner to file a motion
for reconsideration of Judge Santiago's order, which, it explained, was a prerequisite to the institution of a
petition for certiorari and prohibition.

Petitioner, aggrieved by the decision of the appellate court, filed the instant petition for review on certiorari under
Rule 45 of the Rules of Court alleging that it erred in finding that petitioner failed to avail of its plain, speedy and
adequate remedy of a prior motion for reconsideration with the RTC.

ISSUE Whether or not a motion for reconsideration should have been first filed before resorting to certiorari.

HELD

No. While generally a motion for reconsideration must first be filed before resorting to certiorari in order to give
the lower court an opportunity to correct the errors imputed to it 8 this rule admits of exceptions and is not
intended to be applied without considering the circumstances of the case. 9 The filing of the motion for
reconsideration before availing of the remedy of certiorari is not sine qua non when the issue raised is one purely
of law, 10 or where the error is patent or the disputed order is void, 11 or the questions raised on certiorari are the
same as those already squarely presented to and passed upon by the lower court

In its motion for dismissal of the action for damages with the RTC petitioner raised the ground that another action
for forcible entry was pending at the MeTC between the same parties involving the same matter and cause of
action. Outrightly rejected by the RTC, the same issue was elevated by petitioner on certiorari before the Court of
Appeals. Clearly, under the prevailing circumstance, any motion for reconsideration of the trial court would have
been a pointless exercise. 12

4. JOSEPH vs BAUTISTA

Luis Jospeh v. Hon. Crispin Buatista (Regalado, J. 1989)

Facts:
Respondent Patrocinio Perez is the owner of a cargo truck for conveying cargoes and passengers for
a consideration from Dagupan City to Manila. The said cargo truck driven by defendant Domingo
Villa was on its way to Valenzuela, Bulacan from Pangasinan. Luis Joseph, with a cargo of livestock,
boarded the cargo truck at Dagupan City to Valenzuela, Bulacan. While said cargo truck was
negotiating the National Highway proceeding towards Manila, defendant Domingo Villa tried to
overtake a tricycle likewise proceeding in the same direction. At about the same time, a pickup
truck, supposedly owned by respondents Antonio Sioson and Jacinto Pagarigan, then driven by
respondent Lazaro Villanueva, tried to overtake the cargo truck which was then in the process of
overtaking the tricycle, thereby forcing the cargo truck to veer towards the shoulder of the road and
to ram a mango tree. As a result, Jospeh sustained a bone fracture in one of his legs.
CIVIL PROCEDURE: RULES 1-3 CASE DIGEST

Issue:
Whether or not two causes of action embodied in petitioner's complaint, one based on quasi-delict
and the other one is breach of contract of carriage.

Ruling:
If only one injury resulted from several wrongful acts, only one cause of action arises. In the case at
bar, there is no question that the petitioner sustained a single injury on his person. That vested in
him a single cause of action…

The trial court was, therefore, correct in holding that there was only one cause of action involved
although the bases of recovery invoked by petitioner against the defendants therein were not
necessarily Identical since the respondents were not identically circumstanced. However, a recovery
by the petitioner under one remedy necessarily bars recovery under the other. This, in essence, is
the rationale for the proscription in our law against double recovery for the same act or omission
which, obviously, stems from the fundamental rule against unjust enrichment.

There is no question that the respondents herein are solidarily liable to petitioner

Judgement of lower court AFFIRMED

5. FLORES vs MALLARE-PHILLIPS

Flores vs Mallare-Philipps
Petitioner: Remedio V. Flores
Respondent: HON. Judge Hellia S. Mallare-Philipps, Ignacio Binoncal & Fernando Calion
Ponente: FERIA

Doctrine:
Permissive joinder of parties.-All persons in whom or against whom any right to relief in respect to
or arising out of the same transaction or series of transactions is alleged to exist, whether jointly,
severally, or in the alternative, may, except as otherwise provided in these rules, join as plaintiffs or
be joined as defendants in one complaint, where any question of law or fact common to all such
plaintiffs or to all such defendants may arise in the action; but the court may make such orders as
may be just to prevent any plaintiff or defendant from being embarrassed or put to expense in
connection with any proceedings in which he may have no interest.

Facts:
This case involved an appeal by Certiorari to the Supreme Court in accordance with Rule 45 of the
Rules of Court. Two causes of action was filed with the Regional Trial Court of Baguio City and
Benguet Province. One as against Ignacio Binoncal for refusing to pay the amount of P11,643.00
representing cost of truck tires which he purchased on credit from petitioner on various occasions
from August to October, 1981; and the second cause of action was against respondent Fernando
Calion for allegedly refusing to pay the amount of P10,212.00 representing cost of truck tires which
CIVIL PROCEDURE: RULES 1-3 CASE DIGEST

he purchased on credit from petitioner on several occasions from March, 1981 to January, 1982.
Counsel for respondent Binongcal filed a Motion to Dismiss on the ground of lack of jurisdiction
since the amount of the demand against said respondent was only P11,643.00, and under Section
19(8) of BP129 the regional trial court shall exercise exclusive original jurisdiction if the amount of
the demand is more than twenty thousand pesos (P20,000.00). They further state that although
another person, Fernando Calion, was allegedly indebted to petitioner in the amount of P10,212.00,
his obligation was separate and distinct from that of the other respondent.
TRIAL COURT: Case dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.

Issue:
Whether or not the trial court has jurisdiction

Held:
No. In cases of permissive joinder of parties, whether as plaintiffs or as defendants, under Section 6
of Rule 3, the total of all the claims shall now furnish the jurisdictional test. Needless to state also, if
instead of joining or being joined in one complaint separate actions are filed by or against the
parties, the amount demanded in each complaint shall furnish the jurisdictional test. In the case at
bar, the lower court correctly held that the jurisdictional test is subject to the rules on joinder of
parties pursuant to Section 5 of Rule 2 and Section 6 of Rule 3 of the Rules of Court and that, after a
careful scrutiny of the complaint, it appears that there is a misjoinder of parties for the reason that
the claims against respondents Binongcal and Calion are separate and distinct and neither of which
falls within its jurisdiction.

IV. PARTIES TO A CVIL ACTION [RULE 3, SECTIONS 1-22

1. RAYO vs METROBANK

Eduardo Rayo vs. Metrobank and Trust Company and RTC of Quezon City
G.R. no. 165142
Dec. 10, 2007

Facts:

Midas, thru its president, Mr. Samuel U. Lee, obtained sixloans fromMetrobankamounting to P588,
870,000 as evidenced by promissory notes.To secure the payment of an P8, 000,000 loan, Louisville
Realty, thru its president, Mr. Samuel U. Lee, executed in favor of Metrobank, a real estate
mortgage over three parcels of land.

When the debtor-mortgagor failed to pay, Metrobank extra-judicially foreclosed the real estate
mortgage. Thereafter, in a public auction, Metrobank was the highest
CIVIL PROCEDURE: RULES 1-3 CASE DIGEST

bidder.When Louisville refused to turn over the real properties, on March 17, 2001, Metrobank filed
before the RTC Branch 223, Quezon City, an ex parte-petitionfor the issuance of a writ of possession
and the same was granted.

Metrobank posted the required bond. Consequently, a writ of possession was issued on October 9,
2001.

on April 3, 2002, petitioner Eduardo L. Rayo filed a complaint against Metrobank for Nullification of
Real Estate Mortgage Contract(s) and Extrajudicial Foreclosure Sale.

On May 13, 2004, petitioner Rayo filed with the Court of Appeals a Petitionfor Annulment of
Judgment on the ground of absolute lack of due process. Petitioner alleged that his
predecessor, Louisville, was not notified of the proceedings and that Section 7of Act No. 3135 is
unconstitutional.

CA RULING:the Court of Appeals denied the petition for lack of merit. The Court of Appeals ruled
that petitioner is neither the registered owner nor the successor-in-interest of the registered owner;
hence, not a real party-in-interest. It also ruled that there is no basis to challenge the
constitutionality of Section 7 of Act No. 3135, as amended as it constitutes a collateral attack against
said provision.Petitioner sought reconsideration, but was likewise denied.

Petitioner insists he has legal personality to institute annulment of judgment case against
Metrobank because he is a co-assignee over the subject real properties.

Metrobank claims that it was not a party to the deed of assignment among Louisville, Chua and
petitioner, hence, it has no privity of contract with petitioner Rayo. Moreover, Metrobank points out
that the real properties had already been extrajudicially foreclosed when petitioner and his
assignors executed the deed of assignment.

ISSUE:Whether or not petitioner has legal personality to seek the annulment of judgment in the
subject LRC case.

RULING:

NO.Under Section 2,Rule 3 of the Rules of Court, every action must be prosecuted or defended in
the name of the real party-in-interest, or one who stands to be benefited or injured by the judgment
in the suit.A real party-in-interest is one with a present substantial interest which means such
interest of a party in the subject matter of the action as will entitle him, under the substantive law,
to recover if the evidence is sufficient, or that he has the legal title to demand.

Now, is petitioner Rayo a real party-in-interest? Initially, we recognized herein petitioner as the co-
assignee of the subject real properties. However, while petitioner would be injured by the judgment
in this suit, we find that petitioner has no present substantial interest to institute the annulment of
judgment proceedings and nullify the order granting the writ of possession. Hence petitioner is not a
real party-in-interest.
CIVIL PROCEDURE: RULES 1-3 CASE DIGEST

There was no violation of petitioner’s right to constitutional due process. The issuance of a writ of
possession in favor of the purchaser in a foreclosure sale of a mortgaged propertyis a ministerial
duty of the court. The purchaser, upon ex parte application and the posting of the bond, has the
right to acquire possession of the foreclosed property during the 12-month redemption period and
with more reason, after the expiration of the redemption period.

An ex parte petition for the issuance of a writ of possessionis a judicial proceeding for the
enforcement of ones right of possession as purchaser in a foreclosure sale. It is not an ordinary suit
filed in court. It is a non-litigious proceeding authorized in an extrajudicial foreclosure of
mortgageand is brought for the benefit of one party only, and without notice to, or consent by any
person adversely interested. It is a proceeding where the relief is granted without requiring an
opportunity for the person against whom the relief is sought to be heard. No notice is needed to be
served upon persons interested in the subject property.As petitioner is not a party whose interest
is adverse to that of Louisville, there was no bar to the issuance of a writ of possession to
Metrobank. It does not matter that petitioner was not specifically named in the writ of possession
nor notified of such proceedings.

WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED for lack of merit.

2. COMM. DOMINGO vs SCHEER

Domingo v. Scheer
GR No. 154745
January 29, 2004
Article 3

FACTS:
This is a petition for review under Rule 45, of the decision of the Court of Appeals
granting the respondent’s petition for certiorari and prohibition annulling the order of arrest
issued by petitioner, and permanently enjoining her from deporting the respondent from the
Philippines. The appellate court reversed the Summary Deportation Order of the Board of
Commissioners.
Respondent Scheer is a native of Germany, who was eventually granted a permanent
resident status in the Philippines. He eventually married here and started a family as well as a
business in Palawan. Vice Consul Hippelein informed the Philippine Ambassador to Germany
that the respondent had police records and financial liabilities in Germany. The DFA receive
from the German Embassy in Manila that the respondent is wanted in Germany, and requested to
turn over his German passport to the Embassy. Thereafter BOC issued a Summary Deportation
Order dated September 27, 1997. It was stated that the deportation shall be held in abeyance
pending respondent’s case and he shall remain in the custody of the bureau. In issuing this the
BOC relied on the statements of the German Vice Consul on the speculation that it is improbable
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that the respondent will be issued a new passport, the warrant of arrest for insurance fraud and
alleged illegal activities in Palawan. Respondent nevertheless stayed in the Philippines after
airing his side to then BID Commissioner Verceles, the latter giving him time to apply for a
clearance and a new passport. Scheer eventually filed an Urgent Motion for Reconsideration
stating that his right to due process was violated, for there was no notice or chance to be heard
before the issuance of the deportation order. Eventually the criminal case for physical injuries
against the respondent was dismissed, and he was issued a passport. He informed Commissioner
Verceles about this matter and reiterated the cancellation of the order, but the Commissioner did
not respond. Thereafter Commissioner Domingo assumed office and on June 6, 2002, she
ordered the apprehension of the respondent who was held in custody awaiting deportation.
Shocked, respondent sought remedy with the CA, during the hearing of which the Solicitor
General suggested that the respondent leave the country first then just re-apply. A decision was
reached in favor of Scheer, permanently enjoining Domingo from continuing the deportation,
thus this petition.

ISSUE(S):
1. Whether or not the BOC was an indispensable party to the case.
2. Whether or notrespondent’s arrest and detention was premature, unwarranted and
arbitrary.

HELD:
1. Yes – but not enough to invalidate the petition.
Petitioner argues that the respondent must have impleaded BOC as the respondent, and not
Commissioner Domingo alone. The Summary Deportation Order was issued by the BOC as a
whole and Domingo is just but one Commissioner so the petitioner argues that the action may be
dismissed. The court ruled that it agrees with the petitioner that the BOC was an indispensable
party to the respondent’s petition in the CA. However, the non-joinder of indispensable parties is
not a ground for the dismissal of an action. Parties may be added as ordered by the court and if
the petitioner refuses to implead an indispensable party, then the petition may be dismissed. In
the case at bar, CA did not require to implead BOC as the respondent so it does not warrant the
dismissal of respondent’s petition. The court may choose to amend the processes and the
pleadings by substituting as party-plaintiff the real party-interest, but the court also has the power
to avoid delay in the disposition of cases and it may just be unnecessary to still choose to
implead BOC. The OSG has already represented the petitioner in instant proceedings thus the
BOC cannot claim that it was not afforded the opportunity to be in court. Proceedings may be to
facilitate justice but they do not constitute the thing itself and they may be relaxed in certain
cases.
2. Yes.
The Court ruled that BOC committed grave abuse of discretion in causing the arrest and
detention of the respondent. Aliens may be deported from the Philippines only on grounds and in
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the proper manner provided by the Constitution. The United Nations Declaration on Human
Rights grants every person rights, and that no one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention
or exile. BOC ordered respondent’s deportation without even conducting summary deportation
proceedings, but merely relied on the speculation of the German Embassy and the Vice Consul
that it is improbable that the respondent will be issued a new passport, warranting the
deportation. The respondent was not afforded any hearing at all, and not given the opportunity to
put up a defense for himself, thus violating his right to due process. A deportation proceeding
may not be a criminal action, but since it affects the liberty of a person, the right to due process
of a respondent must be respected. Even six years after the motion for reconsideration of the
respondent which was still not attended to, out of nowhere and arbitrarily the agents were
ordered to arrest him. Even after being issued a new passport and even securing clearances from
the PNP and NPA, the BOC still proceeded with the deportation. BOC is required to resolve the
motion of the respondent first, giving him the chance to be heard and present his evidence. The
petitioner put up the defense that they cannot review cases decided before the change of
members, but since it is the same government entity, they have the authority to review past cases.
In addition, the court finds the contention of the OSG for the respondent to leave the country
then just re-apply again ridiculous when there is no legal impediment for the respondent to
continue his stay in the country.

3. DOMINGO vs CARAGUE

FACTS:
This case was a petition for certiorari is the legality of a resolution No. of the Commission on Audit
(COA) providing for Organizational Restructuring Plan. The petitioners alleged therein that this Plan is
intrinsically void for want of an enabling law which gives that COA to undertake the same and providing
for the necessary standards, conditions, restrictions, limitations, guidelines, and parameters. Petitioners
further alleged COA committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction.
Respondents, through the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), countered that petitioners have no legal
standing to file the present petition since they have not shown "a personal stake in the outcome of the
case" or an actual or potential injury that can be redressed by our favorable decision. In essence, it is
alleged that the petitioners are not a party in interest, but the petitioners claim otherwise by reason
that the matter is of public concern. The said Organizational Restructuring Plan is not just a mere
reorganization but a revamp or overhaul of the COA, with a "spillover effect" upon its audit
performance. This will have an impact upon the rest of the government bodies subject to its audit
supervision, thus, should be treated as a matter of transcendental importance.

ISSUE: Whether petitioners have the legal standing to institute the instant petition.

HELD: The Supreme Court decided, NO.It stated that:


(Locus Standi)
There was no showing that they had any direct and personal interest in the COA Organizational
Restructuring Plan. There was also of an admission that "they do not seek any affirmative relief nor
impute any improper or improvident act against the respondents" and "are not motivated by any desire
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to seek affirmative relief from COA or from respondents that would redound to their personal benefit or
gain." Hence, the petitioners do not have any legal standing to file the instant suit. This case was
decided by the Supreme Court En Banc.He who is directly affected and whose interest is immediate and
substantial has the standing to sue. A party must show a personal stake in the outcome of the case or
an injury to himself that can be redressed by a favorable decision in order to warrant an invocation of
the court

4. PACANA-CONTRERAS vs ROVILA WATER SUPPLY

REBECCA PACAÑA-CONTRERAS and ROSALIE PACAÑA, Petitioners,

v.

ROVILA WATER SUPPLY, INC., EARL U KOKSENG, LILIA TORRES, DALLA P. ROMANILLOS and MARISSA
GABUYA, Respondents.

G.R. No. 168979 December 2, 2013

FACTS:

Petitioners Rebecca Pacaña-Contreras and Rosalie Pacaña, children of Lourdes Teves Pacaña and
Luciano Pacaña, filed the present case against Rovila Inc., Earl, Lilia, Dalla and Marisa for accounting
and damages. The petitioners filed the complaint in their own names although Rosalie was
authorized by Lourdes through a sworn declaration and special power of attorney (SPA).

The respondents filed a motion to dismiss on the grounds, among others, that the petitioners are
not the real parties in interest to institute and prosecute the case and that they have no valid cause
of action against the respondents.

The RTC denied the respondents’ motion to dismiss as well as respondents’ motion for
reconsideration.

The respondents filed a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court with the Court of
Appeals, invoking grave abuse of discretion in the denial of their motion to dismiss. The CA granted
the petition and ruled that the RTC committed grave abuse of discretion as the petitioners filed the
complaint and the amended complaint as attorneys-in-fact of their parents. As such, they are not
the real parties in interest and cannot bring an action in their own names.

The petitioners filed the present petition and argued, among others, that in annulling the
interlocutory orders, the CA unjustly allowed the motion to dismiss which did not conform to the
rules. Specifically, the motion was not filed within the time for, but before the filing of, the answer
to the amended complaint, nor were the grounds raised in the answer. Citing Section 1, Rule 9 of
the Rules of Court, the respondents are deemed to have waived these grounds, as correctly held by
the RTC.

The respondents argued that the grounds invoked in their motion to dismiss were timely raised,
pursuant to Section 2, paragraphs g and i, Rule 18 of the Rules of Court. Specifically, the nature and
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purposes of the pre-trial include, among others, the dismissal of the action, should a valid ground
therefor be found to exist; and such other matters as may aid in the prompt disposition of the
action. Finally, the special civil action of certiorari was the proper remedy in assailing the order of
the RTC.

ISSUE: Whether the petition for certiorari under Rule 65 is a proper remedy for a denial of a motion
to dismiss attended by grave abuse of discretion.

RULING: YES.

We find the petition meritorious.

In Barrazona v. RTC, Branch 61, Baguio City, the Court held that while an order denying a motion to
dismiss is interlocutory and non-appealable, certiorari and prohibition are proper remedies to
address an order of denial made without or in excess of jurisdiction. The writ of certiorari is granted
to keep an inferior court within the bounds of its jurisdiction or to prevent it from committing grave
abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction.

The motion to dismiss in the present case based on failure to state a cause of action was not timely
filed and was thus waived.

Rule 9 of the Rules of Court which states that defenses and objections not pleaded either in a
motion to dismiss or in the answer are deemed waived, except for the following grounds: 1) the
court has no jurisdiction over the subject matter; 2) litis pendencia; 3) res judicata; and 4)
prescription. Therefore, the grounds not falling under these four exceptions may be considered as
waived in the event that they are not timely invoked. As the respondents’ motion to dismiss was
based on the grounds which should be timely invoked, material to the resolution of this case is the
period within which they were raised. Both the RTC and the CA found that the motion to dismiss
was only filed after the filing of the answer and after the pre-trial had been concluded.

The Court cannot uphold the dismissal of the present case based on the grounds invoked by the
respondents which they have waived for failure to invoke them within the period prescribed by the
Rules.

Therefore, the RTC did not commit grave abuse of discretion in issuing the assailed orders denying
the respondents’ motion to dismiss and motion for reconsideration.

5. JUANA COMPLEX HOMEOWNERS vs FIL-ESTATE LAND

JUANA COMPLEX I HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION, G.R. No. 152272; G. R. No. 152397


petitioners vs. FIL-ESTATE LAND, INC., respondents
March 5, 2012 Velasco, Jr., J.
TOPIC IN SYLLABUS: Parties
SUMMARY: Petitioners filedthis class suit in representation of commuters and motorists who
regularly use the La Paz Road. They filed an action for damages against Fil-Estate, who excavated
and rendered impassable the said public road, which the petitioners and those similarly situated,
have been using for more than 10 years already. On the other hand, Fil-Estate questions the
propriety of filing the complaint as a class suit.
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DOCTRINE: The necessary elements for the maintenance of a class suit are: 1) the subject matter of
controversy is one of common or general interest to many persons; 2) the parties affected are so
numerous that it is impracticable to bring them all to court; and 3) the parties bringing the class suit
are sufficiently numerous or representative of the class and can fully protect the interests of all
concerned.

FACTS:

JCHA et.al. (Homeowners Association, individual residents of Juana Complex I and neighboring
subdivisions) instituted an action for damages, in its own behalf and as a class suit, against Fil-Estate.

The complaint alleged that plaintiffs are regular commuters and motorists who constantly travel
along SLEX through a public road known as La Paz Road for more than 10 years. However, Fil-Estate
deliberately excavated, ruined, and closed said road, which made it not passable to motorists and
pedestrians. Despite complaints, Fil-Estate failed to make repairs on the road, causing damage and
inconvenience to motorists.

Fil-Estate filed a motion to dismiss, alleging that the complaint failed to state a cause of action and
that it was improperly filed as a class suit. RTC denied the motion to dismiss. CA upheld the RTC.

PETITIONER’S ARGUMENT(S):

While they agree with the CA that the complaint sufficiently stated a cause of action, they disagree
with the pronouncement that full-blown trial on the merits was necessary. They claim that during
the hearing on the application of the writ of injunction, they had sufficiently proven that La Paz Road
was a public road and that commuters and motorists of their neighboring villages had used this road
as their means of access toschools, churches, etc.

They also point out that La Paz Road has attained the status and character of a public road or
burdened by an apparent easement of public right of way.

RESPONDENT’S ARGUMENT(S):

JCHA, et al. failed to prove the existence of a right of way or a right to pass over La Paz Road and
that the closure of the said road constituted an injury to such right. According to them, La Paz Road
is a torrens registered private road and there is neither a voluntary nor legal easement constituted
over it.

ISSUE(S): —Y/N

(1) WON the complaint states a cause of action; - Y


(2) WON the complaint has been properly filed as a class suit; - Y
(3) WON a writ of preliminary injunction is warranted - N
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HELD: CA is affirmed.

1. The test of sufficiency of facts alleged in the complaint as constituting a cause of action is whether
or not admitting the facts alleged, the court could render a valid verdict in accordance with the
prayer of said complaint.

In the present case, the Court finds the allegations in the complaint sufficient to establish a cause of
action. First, JCHA, etal.s averments in the complaint show a demandable right over La Paz Road.
These are: (1) their right to use the road on the basis of their allegation that they had been using the
road for more than 10 years; and (2) an easement of a right of way has been constituted over the
said roads. There is no other road as wide as La Paz Road existing in the vicinity and it is the shortest,
convenient and safe route towards SLEX Halang that the commuters and motorists may use. Second,
there is an alleged violation of such right committed by Fil-Estate, et al. when they excavated the
road and prevented the commuters and motorists from using the same. Third, JCHA, et al.
consequently suffered injury and that a valid judgment could have been rendered in accordance
with the relief sought therein.

2. The necessary elements for the maintenance of a class suit are: 1) the subject matter of
controversy is one of common or general interest to many persons; 2) the parties affected are so
numerous that it is impracticable to bring them all to court; and 3) the parties bringing the class suit
are sufficiently numerous or representative of the class and can fully protect the interests of all
concerned.

In this case, the suit is clearly one that benefits all commuters and motorists who use La Paz Road.

The subject matter of the instant case, i.e., the closure and excavation of the La Paz Road, is initially
shown to be of common or general interest to many persons. The records reveal that numerous
individuals have filed manifestations with the lower court, conveying their intention to join private
respondents in the suit and claiming that they are similarly situated with private respondents for
they were also prejudiced by the acts of petitioners in closing and excavating the La Paz Road.
Moreover, the individuals sought to be represented by private respondents in the suit are so
numerous that it is impracticable to join them all as parties and be named individually as plaintiffs in
the complaint. These individuals claim to be residents of various barangays in Bian, Laguna and
other barangays in San Pedro, Laguna.

3. A writ of preliminary injunction is available to prevent a threatened or continuous irremediable


injury to parties before their claims can be thoroughly studied and adjudicated. The requisites for its
issuance are: (1) the existence of a clear and unmistakable right that must be protected; and (2) an
urgent and paramount necessity for the writ to prevent serious damage. For the writ to issue, the
right sought to be protected must be a present right, a legal right which must be shown to be clear
and positive. This means that the persons applying for the writ must show that they have an
ostensible right to the final relief prayed for in their complaint.

In the case at bench, JCHA, et al. failed to establish a prima facie proof of violation of their right to
justify the issuance of a WPI. Their right to the use of La Paz Road is disputable since they have no
clear legal right therein.
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Consequently, the case should be further heard by the RTC so that the parties can fully prove their
respective positions on the issues.

6. MATHAY vs CONSOLIDATED BANK

RULE 3 S12 – MATHAY vs CONSOLIDATED BANK AND TRUST COMPANY

G.R. No. L-23136 August 26, 1974

ZALDIVAR, J.:p

Facts:

Samuel Mathay, et.al. were former stockholders of Consolidated Mines Inc. (CMI). Petitioners
filed a case for a class suit against CMI containing six causes of action. Petitioners alleged that in
violation of the Board resolution, the defendants unlawfully acquired stockholdings in the defendant
Bank in excess of what they were lawfully entitled, hence depriving the petitioners of their right to
subscribe at par value, in proportion to their equities established under their respective "Pre-
Incorporation Agreements to Subscribe" to the capital stock and that the Articles of Incorporation
were fraudulently amended by the defendants. The complaint was dismissed by the Trial Court on
the ground that the class suit could not be maintained because of the absence of a showing in the
complaint that the plaintiffs-appellants were sufficiently numerous and representative, and that the
complaint failed to state a cause of action. The CA affirmed the ruling, hence, the appeal.

Issue:

Whether or not the instant action is a class suit.

Held:

The action at bar is not a class suit. The necessary elements for the maintenance of a class suit
are accordingly: (1) that the subject matter of the controversy is one of common or general interest
to many persons, and (2) that such persons be so numerous as to make it impracticable to bring
them all to the court. The statute requires that the complaint should allege the existence of the
necessary facts, the existence of a class and the number of members in the said class so as to enable
the court to determine whether the members of the said class are so numerous as to make it
impractical to bring them all to court. The complaint in the instant case failed to state the number of
said CMI subscribing stockholders that the trial court could not infer nor make sure that the parties
are indeed so numerous that they cannot practically appear in court and that the plaintiffs are
representative of the other stockholders. The statute also requires that the subject-matter of the
controversy be of common interest to numerous persons. In the instant case, the interest that
appellants, plaintiffs and intervenors, and the CMI stockholders had in the subject matter of this suit
was several, not common or general in the sense required by the statute. Each one of the appellants
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and the CMI stockholders had determinable interest; each one had a right, if any, only to his
respective portion of the stocks. No one of them had any right to, or any interest in, the stock to
which another was entitled.

7. NEWSWEEK vs IAC

Facts:
· "An Island of Fear" was published by Newsweek in its Feb 23, 1981. It allegedly portrayed the
island province of Negros Occidental as a place dominated by big landowners or sugarcane
planters who not only exploited the impoverished workers, but also brutalized and killed them with
impunity. #peachesdiaries
· Newsweek filed a motion to dismiss on the grounds that
o the printed article sued upon is not actionable in fact and in law;
o the complaint is bereft of allegations that state, much less support a cause of action.
· Trial court denied the motion to dismiss. Complaint on its face states a valid cause of action;
and the question as to whether the printed article sued upon its actionable or not is a matter of
evidence.
· Petitioner: Complaint failed to state a cause of action because:
o Complaint made no allegation the article referred specifically to any one of the private
respondents;
o Libel can be committed only against individual reputation;
o in cases where libel is claimed to have been directed at a group, there is actionable defamation
only if the libel can be said to reach beyond the mere collectivity to do damage to a specific,
individual group member's reputation.

Issue: WON the complaint must be dismissed? YES.

· Corpus vs. Cuaderno, Sr.:


o "in order to maintain a libel suit, it is essential that the victim be identifiable, although it is not
necessary that he be named (19 A.L.R. 116)."
· Uy Tioco vs. Yang Shu Wen:
o Defamatory remarks directed at a class or group of persons in general language only, are not
actionable by individuals composing the class or group unless the statements are sweeping.
· The case at bar is not a class suit. It is not a case where one or more may sue for the benefit of
all
· We have here a case where each of the plaintiffs has a separate and distinct reputation in the
community. They do not have a common or general interest in the subject matter of the
controversy.
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8. OPOSA vs FACTORAN

Oposa et al. v. Fulgencio S. Factoran, Jr. et al

(G.R. No. 101083)

Facts

This case is unique in that it is a class suit brought by 44 children, through their parents, claiming that
they bring the case in the name of “their generation as well as those generations yet unborn.” Aiming to
stop deforestation, it was filed against the Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural
Resources, seeking to have him cancel all the timber license agreements (TLAs) in the country and to
cease and desist from accepting and approving more timber license agreements. The children invoked
their right to a balanced and healthful ecology and to protection by the State in its capacity as parens
patriae. The petitioners claimed that the DENR Secretary's refusal to cancel the TLAs and to stop issuing
them was "contrary to the highest law of humankind-- the natural law-- and violative of plaintiffs' right
to self-preservation and perpetuation." The case was dismissed in the lower court, invoking the law on
non-impairment of contracts, so it was brought to the Supreme Court on certiorari.

Issue

Did the children have the legal standing to file the case?

Ruling

Yes. The Supreme Court in granting the petition ruled that the children had the legal standing to file the
case based on the concept of “intergenerational responsibility”. Their right to a healthy environment
carried with it an obligation to preserve that environment for the succeeding generations. In this, the
Court recognized legal standing to sue on behalf of future generations. Also, the Court said, the law on
non-impairment of contracts must give way to the exercise of the police power of the state in the
interest of public welfare.

Relevance

The case of Oposa vs. Factoran has been widely cited worldwide for its concept of intergenerational
responsibility, particularly in cases related to ecology and the environment. For example:

 Oposa vs. Factoran's concept of "intergenerational responsibility" was cited in a case in


Bangladesh.[1]
 The United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) considers Oposa vs. Factoran a landmark
case in judicial thinking for environmental governance.[2]
 In the book Public Health Law and Ethics by Larry O. Gostin, Oposa vs. Factoran is cited as a
significant example of the justiciability of the right to health. [3]
CIVIL PROCEDURE: RULES 1-3 CASE DIGEST

 In the book The Law of Energy for Sustainable Development by the IUCN Academy of
Environmental Law Research Studies, a study cites Oposa vs. Factoran as basis for asserting that
the right to breathe is part of the right to life as an acknowledged human right.[4]

Nature of the case

Class action seeking the cancellation and non-issuance of timber licence agreements which allegedly
infringed the constitutional right to a balanced and healthful ecology (Section 16); non-impairment of
contracts; Environmental law; judicial review and the political question doctrine; inter-generational
responsibility; Remedial law: cause of action and standing; Directive principles; Negative obligation on
State

Summary

An action was filed by several minors represented by their parents against the Department of
Environment and Natural Resources to cancel existing timber license agreements in the country and to
stop issuance of new ones. It was claimed that the resultant deforestation and damage to the
environment violated their constitutional rights to a balanced and healthful ecology and to health
(Sections 16 and 15, Article II of the Constitution). The petitioners asserted that they represented
others of their generation as well as generations yet unborn.

Finding for the petitioners, the Court stated that even though the right to a balanced and healthful
ecology is under the Declaration of Principles and State Policies of the Constitution and not under the
Bill of Rights, it does not follow that it is less important than any of the rights enumerated in the latter:
“[it] concerns nothing less than self-preservation and self-perpetuation, the advancement of which may
even be said to predate all governments and constitutions”. The right is linked to the constitutional right
to health, is “fundamental”, “constitutionalised”, “self-executing” and “judicially enforceable”. It
imposes the correlative duty to refrain from impairing the environment.

The court stated that the petitioners were able to file a class suit both for others of their generation and
for succeeding generations as “the minors' assertion of their right to a sound environment constitutes, at
the same time, the performance of their obligation to ensure the protection of that right for the
generations to come.”

Significance of the case

This case has been widely-cited in jurisprudence worldwide, particularly in cases relating to
forest/timber licensing. However, the approach of the Philippino Supreme Court to economic, social
and cultural rights has proved somewhat inconsistent, with some judgments resulting in the
enforcement of such rights (e.g., Del Rosario v Bangzon, 180 SCRA 521 (1989); Manila Prince Hotel v
Government Service Insurance System, G. R. No. 122156 (3 February, 1997) but at least one instance in
which the Court made a statement that economic, social and cultural rights are not real rights (see,
Brigido Simon v Commission on Human Rights, G. R. No. 100150, 5 January 1994).
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9. HEIRS OF BERTULDO HINOG vs MELICOR

Heirs of Bertuldo Hinog v. Melicor

FACTS
 The Balanes, the private respondents in this case, filed a complaint for the recovery of
ownership and possession as well as removal of construction and damages (moral & exemplary)
against Bertuldo Hinog.
 It was alleged that the Balanes are the owners of a parcel of land in Bohol, which they have
rented to Bertuldo for 10 years with an annual rental of 100php. Bertuldo, thereafter,
constructed a house of light materials in the said lot.
 However, after the expiry of the 10 years, Bertuldo refused to surrender the lot and even
claimed ownership over the same by virtue of a deed of absolute sale executed by one Tomas
Pahac, with the alleged conformity of the Balanes.
 Trial on the merits ensued but Bertuldo died without completing his evidence.
 Consequently, Bertuldo III designated Atty. Petalcorin to be his new counsel. The latter filed a
motion to expunge the complaint and nullify all proceedings on the ground that the amount of
damages claimed is not stated so the proper docket fee was not paid by the Balanes hence the
court did not acquire jurisdiction. Under the Manchester Ruling, Non-payment of the correct
docket fee is jurisdictional.
 The trial court granted the motion but later on reinstated the case after the payment of the
correct docket fee.
 Instead of filing for an MR, a supplemental pleading was filed by Atty. Petalcorin appending
therein the Deed of Sale of the lot in question. The trial court denied the supplemental pleading
on the ground that the Deed is a new matter, never mentioned in the original answer prepared
by Bertuldo’s original counsel.
 Hence, this petition for certiorari and prohibition

ISSUE: WON the petitioners may challenge the court’s jurisdiction?

HELD: NO!

After recognizing the jurisdiction of the trial court by seeking affirmative relief in their motion to serve
supplemental pleading upon private respondents, petitioners are effectively barred by estoppel from
challenging the trial court's jurisdiction. If a party invokes the jurisdiction of a court, he cannot
thereafter challenge the court's jurisdiction in the same case. To rule otherwise would amount to
speculating on the fortune of litigation, which is against the policy of the Court.

It is worth noting that when Bertuldo filed his Answer on July 2, 1991, he did not raise the issue of lack
of jurisdiction for non-payment of correct docket fees. Instead, he based his defense on a claim of
ownership and participated in the proceedings before the trial court. It was only in September 22, 1998
or more than seven years after filing the answer, and under the auspices of a new counsel, that the issue
of jurisdiction was raised for the first time in the motion to expunge by Bertuldo's heirs.
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After Bertuldo vigorously participated in all stages of the case before the trial court and even invoked
the trial court's authority in order to ask for affirmative relief, petitioners, considering that they
merely stepped into the shoes of their predecessor, are effectively barred by estoppel from
challenging the trial court's jurisdiction. Although the issue of jurisdiction may be raised at any stage
of the proceedings as the same is conferred by law, it is nonetheless settled that a party may be
barred from raising it on ground of laches or estoppel.

Additional:

Issue: WON the non-payment of the proper docket fee at the time of the filing of the complaint
automatically causes the dismissal of the action? NO

Ratio: The Court has held that the Manchester rule has been modified in Sun Insurance Office, Ltd. (SIOL)
vs. Asuncion, which defined the following guidelines involving the payment of docket fees:
1. It is not simply the filing of the complaint or appropriate initiatory pleading, but the
payment of the prescribed docket fee, that vests a trial court with jurisdiction over the
subject-matter or nature of the action. Where the filing of the initiatory pleading is not
accompanied by payment of the docket fee, the court may allow payment of the fees
within a reasonable time but in no case beyond the applicable prescriptive or reglementary
period.

XXX

Plainly, while the payment of the prescribed docket fee is a jurisdictional requirement, even its non-
payment at the time of filing does not automatically cause the dismissal of the case, as long as the fee
is paid within the applicable prescriptive or reglementary period, more so when the party involved
demonstrates a willingness to abide by the rules prescribing such payment.[46] Thus, when
insufficient filing fees were initially paid by the plaintiffs and there was no intention to defraud the
government, the Manchester rule does not apply.

10. DELA CRUZ vs JOAQUIN

FACTS: The case originated from a Complaint for the recovery of possession and ownership, the
cancellation of title, and damages, filed by Pedro Joaquin against petitioners in the RTC. The RTC ruled
in favor of respondent ordering herein petitioners to reconvey the property upon his payment.
Petitioners assert that the RTC’s Decision was invalid for lack of jurisdiction claiming that respondent
died during the pendency of the case and there being no substitution by the heirs, the trial court
allegedly lacked jurisdiction over the litigation.

ISSUE: WON the trial court lost jurisdiction over the case upon the death of Pedro Joaquin?
HELD: NO. When a party to a pending action dies and the claim is not extinguished, the Rules of Court
require a substitution of the deceased. The procedure is specifically governed by Section 16 of Rule 3.
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The rule on the substitution of parties was crafted to protect every party’s right to due process. The
estate of the deceased party will continue to be properly represented in the suit through the duly
appointed legal representative. A formal substitution by heirs is not necessary when as in the present
case, they themselves voluntarily appear, participate in the case, and present evidence in defense of the
deceased. These actions negate any claim that the right to due process was violated. The records of the
present case contain a “Motion for Substitution of Party Plaintiff” filed before the CA. The rule on the
substitution by heirs is not a matter of jurisdiction, but a requirement of due process. Thus, when due
process is not violated, as when the right of the representative or heir is recognized and protected,
noncompliance or belated formal compliance with the Rules cannot affect the validity of a promulgated
decision. Mere failure to substitute for a deceased plaintiff is not a sufficient ground to nullify a trial
court’s decision. The alleging party must prove that there was an undeniable violation of due process.

11. SPOUSE ALGURA vs CITY OF NAGA

Spouses Algura v.The Local Government Unit of the City of Naga

* Access to Justice by the Impoverished

Algura v. The Local Government Unit of the City of Naga was a case that involved the litigants’ privilege
as indigents to seek exemption from the payment of docket and legal fees. The Court recognized that
“one of the most precious rights which may be shielded and secured is the unhampered access to the
justice system by the poor, the underprivileged, and the marginalized.” Filing fees, though essential in
court procedures, should not be an obstacle to poor litigants’ opportunity to seek redress for their
grievances before the courts.

The Facts:

On September 1, 1999, Spouses Antonio F. Algura and Lorencita S. J. Algura filed a Verified Complaint
for damages against the Naga City government and its officers. They alleged that the defendants had
caused the illegal demolition of their residence, thus depriving them of income in the form of monthly
rentals amounting to P7,000 paid by their boarders. Accompanying the Complaint was petitioners’ ex
parte Motion to institute action as indigent litigants. To this Motion was appended Antonio Algura’s pay
slip showing a gross monthly income of P10,474.00 and a net pay of P3,616.99 for the month of July
1999. Also attached was a certification by the Office of the City Assessor of Naga City, stating that
petitioners had no property declared in their names for taxation purposes. The city government filed a
Motion to Disqualify the spouses for nonpayment of filing fees. Respondents had asserted that in
addition to the net income of Antonio, who was a member of the Philippine National Police, Lorencita
had a ministore and a computer shop on the ground floor of their residence. Allegedly, petitioners were
not indigent litigants, as they also derived additional income from several boarders who paid them
rentals, according to respondents. On April 14, 2000, the Naga City RTC issued an Order disqualifying
petitioners from being recognized as indigent litigants. They had allegedly failed to substantiate their
claim for exemption from payment of legal fees and from compliance with the third paragraph of
Section 18 of Rule 141 of the Revised Rules of Court, directing them to pay the requisite filing fees.
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Petitioners filed a Motion for Reconsideration. On May 5, 2000, the trial court issued an Order giving
them the opportunity to comply with Section 18 of Rule 141, which had laid down the requisites for
qualifying as an indigent litigant. Petitioners subsequently submitted their Compliance, to which was
attached the Affidavits of Petitioner Lorencita Algura and one Erlinda Bangate. In her Affidavit, Lorencita
claimed that the demolition of their small dwelling deprived them of a monthly income amounting to
P7,000. This situation forced them, including their six minor children, to rely mainly on her husband’s
P3,500 monthly salary as a policeman. She said that the family’s basic necessities could not be covered
sufficiently by this salary, the meager income from her small sari-sari store, and the rentals from some
boarders. Furthermore, they did not own any real property, as certified by the Naga City assessor’s
office. On the other hand, Erlinda Bangate attested under oath that she personally knew the Algura
spouses, who were her neighbors. She corroborated Lorencita’s statements. Petitioners’ Motion for
Reconsideration was denied by the Naga City RTC. The lower court held that the gross income or total
earnings of the Alguras amounted to P10,474, which was over and above the amount of P3,000 a month
set under Rule 141, Section 18, for pauper litigants residing outside Metro Manila. Nowhere in her
Affidavit did Lorencita deny that she and her immediate family earned a gross income of P3,000.

The Issue

The Alguras raised the solitary issue of whether they should be considered indigent litigants qualified
for exemption from the payment of filing fees.

The Court’s Ruling

Tracing the history of the Rules of Court on suits in forma pauperis (pauper litigant), the High Court,
through Justice Presbitero J. Velasco Jr.,[1] clarified the pertinent rules as follows: 1. When an
application to litigate as an indigent party is filed, the court shall scrutinize the affidavits and supporting
documents submitted, in order to determine if the income and property standards prescribed in the
present Section 19 of Rule 141 have been met. The court must determine if: (1) the applicant’s gross
income and that of the immediate family do not exceed an amount double the monthly minimum wage
of an employee; and (2) the applicant does not own real property with a fair market value of more than
P300,000. If the trial court finds that these income and property requirements have been met, it
automatically grants the applicant the authority to litigate as an indigent litigant, and the grant is a
matter of right. 2. If the trial court finds that one or both requirements have not been met, it shall set a
hearing to enable the presentation of proof that the applicant has “no money or property sufficient and
available for food, shelter and basic necessities for himself and his family.” In that hearing, the adverse
party may adduce countervailing evidence to disprove the evidence presented by the applicant.
Afterwards, the trial court will rule on the application, depending on these presentations. Section 21 of
Rule 3 also provides that the adverse party may still contest the grant of the authority later, at any time
before judgment is rendered by the trial court. This challenge may be based on newly discovered
evidence not obtained at the time the application was heard. If the court determines after hearing that
the party declared as an indigent is in fact a person with sufficient income or property, the proper
docket and other lawful fees shall be assessed and collected by the clerk of court. If payment is not
made within the time fixed by the court, execution shall issue or the payment of prescribed fees shall be
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made, without prejudice to other sanctions the court may impose. In the instant case, the Affidavits and
Certifications submitted by Petitioners Algura showed that they did not own real property; hence, the
property requirement was met. With respect to the income requirement, however, it was clear that the
combined gross monthly incomes of Antonio and Lorencita -- in the amounts of P10,474 and P3,000
respectively -- were above the P1,500 monthly income threshold prescribed by the earlier Rule 141. As
the income requirement was not satisfied, the trial court should have set a hearing to give the Alguras
the opportunity to prove that they had “no money or property sufficient and available for food, shelter
and basic necessities for himself and his family.” Because of the failure of the RTC to set a hearing for
the Motion of the spouses to litigate as paupers, its Orders disqualifying them from doing so were set
aside by the Supreme Court. * GR No. 150153, October 30, 2006, per Velasco, J. [1] Unanimously
concurred in by the Third Division: Justices Leonardo A. Quisumbing (chairperson), Antonio T. Carpio,
Conchita Carpio Morales, and Dante O. Tinga.

12. WHITE vs CITY OF MANILA

G.R. No. 122846 January 20, 2009


WHITE LIGHT CORPORATION, TITANIUM CORPORATION and STA. MESA TOURIST &
DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, Petitioners,
vs.
CITY OF MANILA, represented by DE CASTRO, MAYOR ALFREDO S. LIM,Respondent.
Facts:
On December 3, 1992, City Mayor Alfredo S. Lim signed into law Manila City Ordinance No. 7774
entitled “An Ordinance Prohibiting Short-Time Admission, Short-Time Admission Rates, and Wash-
Up Rate Schemes in Hotels, Motels, Inns, Lodging Houses, Pension Houses, and Similar
Establishments in the City of Manila” (the Ordinance).” The ordinance sanctions any person or
corporation who will allow the admission and charging of room rates for less than 12 hours or the
renting of rooms more than twice a day.

The petitioners White Light Corporation (WLC), Titanium Corporation (TC), and Sta. Mesa Tourist
and Development Corporation (STDC), who own and operate several hotels and motels in Metro
Manila, filed a motion to intervene and to admit attached complaint-in-intervention on the ground
that the ordinance will affect their business interests as operators. The respondents, in turn, alleged
that the ordinance is a legitimate exercise of police power.

RTC declared Ordinance No. 7774 null and void as it “strikes at the personal liberty of the individual
guaranteed and jealously guarded by the Constitution.” Reference was made to the provisions of
the Constitution encouraging private enterprises and the incentive to needed investment, as well as
the right to operate economic enterprises. Finally, from the observation that the illicit relationships
the Ordinance sought to dissuade could nonetheless be consummated by simply paying for a 12-
hour stay,
When elevated to CA, the respondents asserted that the ordinance is a valid exercise of police
power pursuant to Section 458 (4)(iv) of the Local Government Code which confers on cities the
power to regulate the establishment, operation and maintenance of cafes, restaurants, beerhouses,
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hotels, motels, inns, pension houses, lodging houses and other similar establishments, including
tourist guides and transports. Also, they contended that under Art III Sec 18 of Revised Manila
Charter, they have the power to enact all ordinances it may deem necessary and proper for the
sanitation and safety, the furtherance of the prosperity and the promotion of the morality, peace,
good order, comfort, convenience and general welfare of the city and its inhabitants and to fix
penalties for the violation of ordinances.

Petitioners argued that the ordinance is unconstitutional and void since it violates the right to
privacy and freedom of movement; it is an invalid exercise of police power; and it is unreasonable
and oppressive interference in their business.
CA, in turn, reversed the decision of RTC and affirmed the constitutionality of the ordinance. First, it
held that the ordinance did not violate the right to privacy or the freedom of movement, as it only
penalizes the owners or operators of establishments that admit individuals for short time stays.
Second, the virtually limitless reach of police power is only constrained by having a lawful object
obtained through a lawful method. The lawful objective of the ordinance is satisfied since it aims to
curb immoral activities. There is a lawful method since the establishments are still allowed to
operate. Third, the adverse effect on the establishments is justified by the well-being of its
constituents in general.

Hence, the petitioners appeared before the SC.

Issue:
Whether Ordinance No. 7774 is a valid exercise of police power of the State.

Held:
No. Ordinance No. 7774 cannot be considered as a valid exercise of police power, and as such, it is
unconstitutional.

The facts of this case will recall to mind not only the recent City of Manila v Laguio Jr ruling, but the
1967 decision in Ermita-Malate Hotel and Motel Operations Association, Inc., v. Hon. City Mayor of
Manila. The common thread that runs through those decisions and the case at bar goes beyond the
singularity of the localities covered under the respective ordinances. All three ordinances were
enacted with a view of regulating public morals including particular illicit activity in transient lodging
establishments. This could be described as the middle case, wherein there is no wholesale ban on
motels and hotels but the services offered by these establishments have been severely restricted. At
its core, this is another case about the extent to which the State can intrude into and regulate the
lives of its citizens

The test of a valid ordinance is well established. A long line of decisions including City of Manila has
held that for an ordinance to be valid, it must not only be within the corporate powers of the local
government unit to enact and pass according to the procedure prescribed by law, it must also
conform to the following substantive requirements: (1) must not contravene the Constitution or any
statute; (2) must not be unfair or oppressive; (3) must not be partial or discriminatory; (4) must not
prohibit but may regulate trade; (5) must be general and consistent with public policy; and (6) must
not be unreasonable.

The ordinance in this case prohibits two specific and distinct business practices, namely wash rate
admissions and renting out a room more than twice a day. The ban is evidently sought to be rooted
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in the police power as conferred on local government units by the Local Government Code through
such implements as the general welfare clause.

Police power is based upon the concept of necessity of the State and its corresponding right to
protect itself and its people. Police power has been used as justification for numerous and varied
actions by the State.

The apparent goal of the ordinance is to minimize if not eliminate the use of the covered
establishments for illicit sex, prostitution, drug use and alike. These goals, by themselves, are
unimpeachable and certainly fall within the ambit of the police power of the State. Yet the
desirability of these ends do not sanctify any and all means for their achievement. Those means
must align with the Constitution.

SC contended that if they were to take the myopic view that an ordinance should be analyzed
strictly as to its effect only on the petitioners at bar, then it would seem that the only restraint
imposed by the law that they were capacitated to act upon is the injury to property sustained by the
petitioners. Yet, they also recognized the capacity of the petitioners to invoke as well the
constitutional rights of their patrons – those persons who would be deprived of availing short time
access or wash-up rates to the lodging establishments in question. The rights at stake herein fell
within the same fundamental rights to liberty. Liberty as guaranteed by the Constitution was
defined by Justice Malcolm to include “the right to exist and the right to be free from arbitrary
restraint or servitude. The term cannot be dwarfed into mere freedom from physical restraint of the
person of the citizen, but is deemed to embrace the right of man to enjoy the facilities with which
he has been endowed by his Creator, subject only to such restraint as are necessary for the common
welfare,

Indeed, the right to privacy as a constitutional right must be recognized and the invasion of it should
be justified by a compelling state interest. Jurisprudence accorded recognition to the right to privacy
independently of its identification with liberty; in itself it is fully deserving of constitutional
protection. Governmental powers should stop short of certain intrusions into the personal life of the
citizen.

An ordinance which prevents the lawful uses of a wash rate depriving patrons of a product and the
petitioners of lucrative business ties in with another constitutional requisite for the legitimacy of the
ordinance as a police power measure. It must appear that the interests of the public generally, as
distinguished from those of a particular class, require an interference with private rights and the
means must be reasonably necessary for the accomplishment of the purpose and not unduly
oppressive of private rights. It must also be evident that no other alternative for the
accomplishment of the purpose less intrusive of private rights can work. More importantly, a
reasonable relation must exist between the purposes of the measure and the means employed for
its accomplishment, for even under the guise of protecting the public interest, personal rights and
those pertaining to private property will not be permitted to be arbitrarily invaded.

Lacking a concurrence of these requisites, the police measure shall be struck down as an arbitrary
intrusion into private rights.
The behavior which the ordinance seeks to curtail is in fact already prohibited and could in fact be
diminished simply by applying existing laws. Less intrusive measures such as curbing the
proliferation of prostitutes and drug dealers through active police work would be more effective in
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easing the situation. So would the strict enforcement of existing laws and regulations penalizing
prostitution and drug use. These measures would have minimal intrusion on the businesses of the
petitioners and other legitimate merchants. Further, it is apparent that the ordinance can easily be
circumvented by merely paying the whole day rate without any hindrance to those engaged in illicit
activities. Moreover, drug dealers and prostitutes can in fact collect “wash rates” from their clientele
by charging their customers a portion of the rent for motel rooms and even apartments.

SC reiterated that individual rights may be adversely affected only to the extent that may fairly be
required by the legitimate demands of public interest or public welfare. The State is a leviathan that
must be restrained from needlessly intruding into the lives of its citizens. However well¬-intentioned
the ordinance may be, it is in effect an arbitrary and whimsical intrusion into the rights of the
establishments as well as their patrons. The ordinance needlessly restrains the operation of the
businesses of the petitioners as well as restricting the rights of their patrons without sufficient
justification. The ordinance rashly equates wash rates and renting out a room more than twice a day
with immorality without accommodating innocuous intentions.

WHEREFORE, the Petition is GRANTED. The Decision of the Court of Appeals is REVERSED, and the
Decision of the Regional Trial Court of Manila, Branch 9, is REINSTATED. Ordinance No. 7774 is
hereby declared UNCONSTITUTIONAL. No pronouncement as to costs.